Dec 21, 2021

Gov. Whitmer Releases Michigan's Adaptive Management Plan to Improve Lake Erie Water Quality

The adaptive management plan informs both state-led and partner supported projects to reduce the amount of nutrients from fertilizer, wastewater and erosion entering Lake Erie.

lake erie water

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and departmental leaders unveiled Michigan's final adaptive management plan. 

This plan serves as the companion document to the Domestic Action Plan (DAP), which addresses the causes driving harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie.

"In Michigan, we are defined by our Great Lakes, and we have to work together to protect these precious natural resources for future generations and our economy," said Governor Whitmer, reported The Department of Agriculture & Rural Development. "We know that harmful algal blooms are caused by a number of sources in Michigan's portion of the Western Lake Erie Basin and beyond. While it will be challenging to reach our 40% nutrient reduction goal, I know we can get it done. Together, we will make the investments we need to reduce algal blooms and continue working to protect our Great Lakes."

The adaptive management plan informs both state-led and partner supported projects to reduce the amount of nutrients from fertilizer, wastewater and erosion entering Lake Erie. The plan has three main focus areas: reducing loads from specific outlets and general runoff areas; wetland restoration, green storm water infrastructure; and other land conservation practices in both the rural and urban areas.

The plan is jointly created by a senior management working group from MDARD and the departments of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), and Natural Resources (DNR).

The adaptive management plan also supports watershed management planning and the completion of agricultural inventories. EGLE and MDARD are focusing these agricultural inventories in high priority sub-basins in the Bean Creek Watershed, the S.S. LaPointe Drain Watershed, and the River Raisin Watershed. The plan also focuses on a pilot agriculture wetland restoration effort to reduce phosphorus runoff to Lake Erie.

The departments will be hosting a public webinar with more information on Feb. 7th from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Click here to register for the webinar.

The team is working through a two-year work plan process and will receive annual input and feedback from an external, science-based advisory group.

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