MACD annually presents the Friend of Conservation Award to recognize the outstanding contributions of an individual or organization for their efforts to improve the public's understanding of natural resource conservation, for participation in conservation practices in cooperation with a Conservation District, and to further the mission of Michigan Conservation Districts as the local providers of natural resource management services that help our citizens conserve their lands and our state's resources for a cleaner, healthier, and economically stronger Michigan.
"MACD is pleased to honor the OSU Sea Grant College Program and the Stone Laboratory with the 2016 Friend of Conservation Award," said Lori Phalen, MACD Executive Director. "The outstanding educational programs offered at the Stone Lab have provided information and hands-on experiences that have enhanced the agricultural community's understanding of water quality issues in the Western Lake Erie Watershed Basin."
The OSU Sea Grant College Program at Stone Lab in the Lake Erie Islands has been the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) and Conservation Practices Day Conference location for the Lenawee Conservation District's "Field to Great Lakes" events since 2013. Farmers and partners of agriculture have found the conference presentations of the science of algae blooms to be informative and well researched. The commitment to detail and breakdown of science has resulted in farmer attendees engaging in and actively encouraging others to implement additional conservation practices to positively impact water quality. The Farmers Advisory Committee that is comprised of over 100 farmers was also formed in 2014 as a result of farmers who attended the conference requesting assistance to continue the conservation conversation.
Established in 1895, the Stone Laboratory is the oldest freshwater biological field station in the United States and the center of Ohio State University's teaching and research on Lake Erie. Each year the lab serves as a base for more than 65 researchers from 12 agencies and academic institutions, all working year-round to solve the most pressing problems facing the Great Lakes.
The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts is a 501(c)3 organization that represents the interests of Michigan Conservation Districts and works to strengthen Districts through leadership,
Left to Right: Art Pelon, MACD President, Matt Thomas, OSU Stone Laboratory Research and Operations Manager, and Lori Phalen, MACD Ex. Director.
MAEAP and Conservation Practices Day Conference attendees at the Stone Lab.