MACD News Blog

USDA-NRCS Edge-of-Field Water Quality Monitoring Initiative

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is looking for farmers to participate in an initiative to monitor the effectiveness of conservation practices at improving water quality. 

The Edge-of-Field Water Quality Monitoring Initiative is administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. Farmers in the Hayworth Creek, Kearsley-Swartz and Mid-Shiawassee River watersheds are eligible to apply for the initiative. The watersheds are located primarily in Clinton, Genesee, Oakland and Shiawassee counties with a small portion in Lapeer County.

Farmers within these three Michigan watersheds are eligible to apply for the initiative until June 14, 2013.

Applications for the program will be ranked competitively on a nation-wide basis. Successful applicants will receive financial assistance to monitor water runoff from enrolled land. The information gathered will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation practices, such as cover crops and filter strips, at reducing the amount of sediment and nutrients entering surface water.

For more information about the initiative and how to apply for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service programs, contact your local Conservation District and NRCS field office or go online to

Old Mission Peninsula Wineries and Vineyard Honored for MAEAP Achievement

Friday, April 26, 2013

Today, the wineries and vineyards on Old Mission Peninsula were honored for their proactive efforts to become verified in the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP).  State and local officials gathered today to honor their outstanding achievement.  

MAEAP is a collaborative effort of Michigan's farmers, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan Conservation Districts, Michigan Farm Bureau, commodity organizations, conservation and environmental groups, universities and state and federal agencies.  The program is delivered locally by Michigan Conservation Districts and their MAEAP technicians, who work closely with farmers as they move through the process to become MAEAP verified.  

Michigan Conservation Districts have been involved with MAEAP from it's inception and they continue to play a critical role in the delivery of MAEAP at the local level today.  

MACD congratulates the Old Mission Peninsula wineries and vineyards for this outstanding achievement, it is a true testament of their commitment to environmental stewardship!

Learn more about MAEAP by visiting, and on the MACD website (link)

Conservation Districts and Michigan's Dam Removal Efforts

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Recently, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced grant awards for several dam removal projects across Michigan.  One of the grant awards went to the Ionia Conservation District for the Lyons Dam Removal Project.  

This isn't the first Conservation District that has been involved in dam removal activities, other dam removal projects over the last several years have been spearheaded by Districts.  Districts, with their close connections in local communities, along with their technical expertise and ability to bring partners together for a cause, are sought out for projects like this.

Makes me pretty darn proud of the amazing variety of work they accomplish across our state! 

Several articles on Michigan dam removals have been published since the announcement of this most recent round of grants.  The latest from the Center for Michigan is an interesting read.

Conservation Districts Awarded Cleanup Grants

Friday, April 05, 2013

Michigan Conservation Districts Rock!

"Wow" was my first thought when I received the April 4th DEQ and Great Lakes commission press release which announced the 2013 River, Stream and Creek Cleanup grants. 

I am proud as punch of Michigan's Conservation Districts and the amazing work they do.  As the local providers of natural resource management services, they provide the technical, educational, financial and just plain good old inspiration to help landowners, land managers and communities to conserve our lands and waterways.  

The announcement made by the DEQ and Great Lakes Commission is confirmation that Michigan Conservation Districts are ready once again to take the lead, in this case to dive in to address the trash in our treasured waterways.

Check out the many Conservation Districts in the list of groups selected to receive funds in 2013: 

·         City of Charlotte, “9th Annual River Cleanup Day” - $838.65
·         Germfask Township, “Manistique River Clean Up” - $845
·         City of Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Services, “A2 Keeping the River Clean” - $3,254
·         Tuscola Conservation District, “5th Annual Cass River Cleanup” - $600
·         Barry Conservation District, “18th Annual Thornapple River Clean Up” - $1,800
·         Macatawa Area Coordinating Council, “Macatawa River Volunteer Cleanup” - $1,000
·         City of Evart, “Muskegon River Cleanup” - $2,175
·         St. Joseph County Conservation District, “River Cleanup Project 2013” - $2,750
·         City of Grand Rapids, “10th Annual Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup” - $4,500
·         Hillsdale Conservation District, “Headwaters River Clean-up Project” - $2,653
·         Van Buren Conservation District, “River Rescue 2013” - $2,360
·         Shiawassee County Health Department, “16th Annual Shiawassee River Clean-up” - $1,875
·         City of Battle Creek, “2013 Global Citizens River Conservation Day” - $1,500
·         Calhoun Conservation District, “Klean the Kazoo” - $2,570
·         Jackson County Drain Commissioner, “Portage River Volunteer Cleanup” - $1,145
·         Monroe Conservation District, “River Raisin Rubbish Removal” - $2,538.91
·         Kent Conservation District, “Rogue River Cleanup” - $1,615.75
·         Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission, “Flint River Clean Up” - $2,900
·         Grand Traverse Conservation District, “9th Annual Boardman River Clean Sweep 2013” - $1,150
·         Mason-Lake Conservation District, “Pere Marquette Paddle Down-River Cleanup” - $945

Districts Get it Done!

Additional information on the Volunteer River, Stream, and Creek Cleanup Program is available online at