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Land Conservation Projects
Arrow Building Skill in Forage & Pasture Management
Watershed Wide LC
October 2001 - This program was designed to educate current producers and new livestock producers about the many facets of forage and pasture production and grazing management. Those project offered classes that included an introduction to managed rotational grazing, the importance of soil fertility and management, the establishment of forage crops, layout and design of grazing systems, animal nutrition, and pollution prevention. The project provided participants with the basic skills of forage and pasture management as well as contact people who can provide technical assistance after the formal classes ended.



 
Arrow Bush Creek Bio-Engineering Demonstration
Midland LC
November 2006 - This project, sponsored by the Saginaw Bay RC&D, demonstrated a lower-cost erosion control method that can be used along stream sites with high erosion potential. This project highlighted bio-engineering techniques including tree revetments, which include using trees that are placed along the side of a stream that essentially trap erosion and sedimentation and create a stronger and more erosion-resistant streambank. An additional demonstration includes the use of Polyacrymlaides – which are bonding agents that promote the growth and stability of erosion control grasses. 10 sites were restored as as part of this project. WIN funding supported the engineering and installation of the revetment structures.



 
Arrow Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) Technical Assistance
Watershed Wide LC
The purpose of Michigan's Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) is to reduce sediment, phosphorus and nitrogen loads entering the surface waters in watersheds that have intense agricultural land use. The goal is timprove water quality, sources of drinking water, and wildlife habitats. This project provided technical assistance to promote and assist landowners enrolling in CREP in the Saginaw Bay Watershed. CREP technicians were located in the following conservation districts: Arenac, Huron, Isabella, Sanilac, Shiawassee and Tuscola. The Saginaw Bay Watershed covers 5,573,000 acres, of which 46% is agriculture, 29% forested, 11% open land, 8% urban, 4% wetlands, and 2% water. CREP improves water quality, enhances fish and wildlife habitat, and enhances nestingupland forested and grasslands birds and waterfowl. With a goal of enrolling 90,000 acres, Michigan’s CREP will be the largest voluntary conservation program in the state. Sediment and nutrients are the primary pollutants addressed by CREP practices, with secondary pollutants being bacteria and pesticides. Additionally, as the GLakes make up 20 percent of the world’s surface freshwater, protecting water quality in this important area is a primary focus of all Michigan CREP partners.

Shiawassee Conservation District
Telephone: (989) 723-8263, Ext. 3 Fax: (989) 723-8491
melissa.higbee@mi.nacdnet.net
 
Arrow Conservation Tillage for Water Quality and Wildlife
Watershed Wide LC, LM
November 2000 - This project was designed to encourage landowners to leave corn stubble on farmed fields undisturbed over the winter for the purposes of wildlife food and habitat, as well as to control erosion. This specific grant was used to provide administrative/educational funding to the Saginaw Bay RC&D and Soil Conservation District for the Waterfowl Food Plot project currently in progress and funded by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The educational efforts of the Conservation District included slide presentations, newsletters, leaflets and verbal descriptions to farmers of residue benefits during the administrative activities. Innovative Farmers, a group who currently provides technical conservation information directly to other farmers, also assisted in the implementation of this project.



 
Arrow Conservation Tillage Risk Protection Program
Shiawassee LC
The program demonstrated the use of conservation tillage in two subwatersheds of the Tittabawassee River. The project offered the expertise of a certified crop consultant, and financial protection against economic loss on the enrolled conservation tillage corn acres during the term of the project. Conservation Tillage equipment was leased by the Shiawassee Conservation District and provided to farmers who are participating. In similar experiments in Illinois and Indiana, the poor economic impact concerns of new practices were unfounded, as protection dollars were never spent.



 
Arrow CREP Permanent Conservation Easement Acquisition Program to 2007
Watershed Wide LC
The State of Michigan Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) was created to help address nonpoint source pollution. CREP encourages farmers to implement conservation practices, such as creating and maintaining natural vegetated corridors along rivers and streams. Farmers who agree to participate in one or more of the CREP practices receive funding to implement and maintain the practice for a period of fifteen years, starting in 2001. By working with various partners, the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy purchased or helped coordinate the purchase of 31 permanent conservation easements on CREP practices, protecting the land in perpetuity from any type of development. Located throughout the watershed (and one outside of our watershed), the easements are held by land conservancies serving the area. The Saginaw Basin is the largest watershed in the state of Michigan. It drains 15% of Michigan’s land area and covers 8,000 square miles and touches all or part of twenty-two counties in the central eastern part of the state. Nonpoint source pollution represents a large and pervasive portion of total water quality problems. Many of our drains and streams have been stripped of their vegetation to provide additional land for farming, resulting in increased sediment and nutrient loadings into the water. This project resulted in the acquisition of 27 permanent conservation easements which will protect in perpetuity 166 acres of filter strips, 1,407 acres of restored wetlands and 52 acres of riparian corridor.

Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy
Telephone: (989) 891-9986 Fax: (989) 891-9987
comments@sblc-mi.org
 
Arrow CREP Permanent Conservation Easement Acquisition Program to 2009
Watershed Wide LC
The State of Michigan Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) was created to help address nonpoint source pollution. CREP encourages farmers to implement conservation practices, such as creating and maintaining natural vegetated corridors along rivers and streams. Farmers who agree to participate in one or more of the CREP practices receive funding to implement and maintain the practice for a period of fifteen years starting in 2001. By working with various partners, the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy purchased or helped coordinate the purchase of 45 permanent conservation easements on CREP practices, protecting the land in perpetuity from any type of development. Located throughout the Saginaw Bay watershed (and one outside of our watershed), the easements are held by land conservancies serving the area. The Saginaw Basin is the largest watershed in the state of Michigan. It drains 15% of Michigan’s land area covers 8,000 square miles and touches all or part of twenty-two counties in the central eastern part of the state. Nonpoint source pollution represents a large and pervasive portion of total water quality problems. Many of our drains and streams have been stripped of their vegetation

Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy
Telephone: (989) 891-9986 Fax: (989) 891-9987
comments@sblc-mi.org
 
Arrow Dundas Road / Wixom Lake Stabilization Project
Gladwin LC
Prior to implementation of this project, a 1.4 mile stretch of Dundas Road along Wixom Lake was being rapidly eroded due to wave action from watercraft on nearby Wixom Lake. Wixom Lake is an impoundment of the Tittabawasee River located in Gladwin County. Dundas Road is used by the public, including school buses, and also serves as access to Michigan D.N.R.’s public fishing and boat launch facility. The goal of the project was to stabilize 1.4 miles of Dundas Road to reduce sediment loads.

Gladwin County Road Commission
Telephone: (517) 426-7441 Fax: (517) 426-2735
 
Arrow Filter Strip Education
Watershed Wide LC
November 1999 - Through this project the District worked with the Saginaw Bay RC&D, the Bay and Saginaw Conservation Districts, and the Farm Service Agency to develop a brochure and host a tour for farmland owners in the Tri-County area to inform them about the economic and environmental benefits of filter strips and the availability of federal support to install them.



 
Arrow Huron County No-Till Drill Challenge
Huron LC
November 2000 - This project challenged additional funders to participate in the purchase of a no-till drill for the Huron County Conservation District. The no-till drill was purchased and is now made available (rented) to farms within 5 miles of Saginaw Bay that have undisturbed corn residuals remaining from the previous year’s farming operations. Farms that have participated in the Conservation Tillage for Water Quality and Wildlife project are given priority. The intent of the project was to show farmers the benefits of no-till farming such as reduced fuel costs, reduced labor costs, reduced wear on equipment, reduced need for a large inventory of equipment, increased soil productivity and increased wildlife use on the land. It is expected that 10,000 acres will be under no-till operations yearly by use of this device.



 
Arrow Integrated Cropping Systems
Huron LC
June 1999 - WIN’s support was directed at one year of this multi-year project. The purpose of this project is to develop data to demonstrate that reduced tillage practices improve soil health, maintain farm profitability and reduce soil erosion and impacts on water quality. The Innovative Farmers conducted a 5-year test of several cultivation techniques on the standard row crop rotation of dry beans, sugar beets and corn. They demonstrated that conservation tillage techniques generated the same per acre profit, while improving soil tilth and reducing erosion. They are going to continue to cultivate test plots to demonstrate additional techniques that improve returns and reduce impacts on water quality. Crop sales will help sustain the group’s activities in the future. The Innovative Farmers raised more than $49,000 to match WIN’s grant in 1998.



 
Arrow Kearsley Creek Watershed Planning
Genesee LC
Kearsley Creek is a tributary of the Flint River and located in Genesee County. Economic growth and development have impacted the biological integrity of Kearsley Creek. The objective of this project was to obtain water quality information about Kearsley Creek and to use this data to produce a watershed management plan. This plan will be utilized by local units of government, business owners, and concerned citizens to make accurate decisions about proper land management, floodplain management, efficient soil erosion control, and structural and nonstructural improvements to the Kearsley Creek. The completed plan includes results of the hydrologic, physical and biological assessments, along with recommendations and an information and educational plan for improving the function and quality of the Kearsley Creek.

Genesee County Drain Commissioner
Telephone: (810) 732-1590 Fax: (810) 732-1474
jwright@co.genesee.mi.us
 
Arrow Loop Park Urban Erosion Control
Shiawassee CD, LC, WM
May 2001 - The City of Owosso’s Loop Park is a riverside park located along the Shiawassee River near downtown. The stream bank along Loop Park was highly eroded, and water quality was poor because of suspected pathogen and nutrient influences of highly concentrated waterfowl. This project intended to correct environmental problems, while giving community training in soft engineering using natural restoration techniques including soil bioengineering, increasing recreational capabilities and appreciation of the river, and allowing natural restoration to serve as an ongoing educational tool for the rest of the region. Included in this project was interpretive signage and native plantings.



 
Arrow Pigeon River Watershed Planning Project
Huron LC
Priorities: Stabilize stream bank erosion sites, Restore wetlands, Implement agricultural practices, Protect areas through conservation easements Mission: Preserve the natural qualities of the Pigeon River Watershed, and promote practices to improve water quality throughout the watershed and the shoreline of Lake Huron. Ensure a good quality of life through continued environmental education directed toward homeowners, businesses, and the farming community. Promote recreational opportunities in the watershed and increase public access to waterbodies. Continue to provide educational opportunities for the communities and promote public involvement in managing and preserving the watershed for many years to come.

Huron Conservation District
Telephone: (989) 269-9540 Ext 3 Fax: (989) 269-8421
jeanette.renn@mi.nacdnet.net
 
Arrow Pinnebog River Watershed Planning Project
Huron LC
The 195 square mile Pinnebog River Watershed is primarily agricultural, with a high concentration of seasonal homes along the Saginaw Bay lakeshore. The project goal was to develop a USEPA Section 319 approvable watershed management plan to outline strategies and recommendations to effectively reduce pollution sources, specifically sediment and phosphorus. The primary focus of the project was to recommend management measures to mitigate nonpoint source contamination in the Pinnebog River. An information and education strategy was developed for the watershed, and public informational meetings were held to address land use conflicts between large scale agricultural landowners and residents concerned for water quality as part of the information and education efforts.

Huron Conservation District
Telephone: (989) 269-9540 Ext 3 Fax: (989) 269-8421
jeanette.renn@mi.nacdnet.net
 
Arrow Public Access Point for Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge
Shiawassee CD, LC
October 2004 - This project developed a formerly unimproved and informal boat launching facility into a multi-purpose public access point for the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. Improvements included a new boat launch and associated demonstration of new bank stabilization techniques to prevent further erosion, as well as a fishing access site.



 
Arrow Ringwood Forest Park Canoe Trail
Saginaw CD, LC, LM, WM
May 1999 - One of the recommendations of the Fisheries Scoping Study was to improve small boat access on the watershed’s rivers. This project did that. The Friends of the Bad River removed snags and blockages from the south branch of the Bad River between Ringwood County Park and St. Charles River Park. Some of the downed trees were cabled to the banks to stabilize the river; the rest were removed. The snags diverted the river from its natural course, exacerbating bank erosion. They also blocked small boat access. Removing the snags opened river for small boats, restored the river’s natural course, enhanced fish habitat, and helped prevent future bank erosion. Saginaw County



 
Arrow Saginaw Bay Farmers Minimize Environmental Risks by participating in MAEAP
Watershed Wide LC
May 2004 - This project focused on the promotion and education of both an agricultural and non-agricultural audience about the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). The MAEAP is a voluntary agricultural pollution prevention program which ensures that participating producers use effective land stewardship practices that comply with environmental regulations. This grant supported the development of a DVD that serves as a promotional piece for the program, to communicate with local communities about MAEAP and what Saginaw Bay farmers are doing to protect the environment through this voluntary program. Additionally, the DVD serves to educate Saginaw Bay farmers and others about the program and how to participate, along with providing additional technical materials including pdf documents, presentations, web links and technical documents necessary to participate in the program.



 
Arrow Saginaw Bay Watershed Livestock Exclusion
Watershed Wide LC
The Saginaw Bay Watershed includes all or part of 22 counties in east/central Michigan. A Michigan DEQ-SWQD survey identified animal access sites within the watersheds contributing sediment and nutrient loading to the Bay. The goal of the project was to reduce the nutrient loading to the Saginaw Bay caused by livestock access to drains of the watershed.

Saginaw Bay RC&D
Telephone: (989) 684-5650 Fax: (989) 684-5896
saginawbay@aol.com
 
Arrow Sebewaing River Watershed Alternative Cropping Practices Project
Huron LC
The Sebewaing River Watershed is made up of approximately 66,000 acres of mostly agricultural land draining into Saginaw Bay. The two major water quality issues are nutrient and sediment loading and ice blockage leading to flooding in the Village of Sebewaing. The project goal was the successful implementation of the Information & Education Strategy contained in the Watershed Management Plan. Activities demonstrated that everyone impacts water quality and everyone--from the smallest lot owner to the largest agricultural producer--has a responsibility to improve and maintain water quality. This project also resulted in a watershed plan that meets EPA’s nine planning elements.

Tuscola Conservation District
Telephone: 989-673-8174 Ext 3 Fax: 989-673-1848
jim.kratz@mi.nacdnet.net
 
Arrow Sebewaing River Watershed Implementation of Physical Improvements
Huron LC
The Sebewaing River Watershed is made up of approximately 66,000 acres of mostly agricultural land draining into Saginaw Bay. The two major water quality issues are nutrient and sediment loading from agricultural practices. Ice blockage was also leading to flooding and erosion in the Village of Sebewaing. The project goal was to correct the causes of the sources of sediment and excessive nutrients and to reduce the risk of flooding and erosion caused by the changes in the natural hydrology of the watershed. The project was a joint effort with the Sebewaing River Inter-County Drainage Board using a holistic approach to drain maintenance rather than traditional open channel excavation. The project included BMPs to reduce sediment and nutrient loads through the application of grade stabilization structures, stream bank stabilization, conservation tillage, filter strips, tile inlet/outlet stabilization and nutrient management.

Huron Conservation District
Telephone: 989-269-9540, Ext 3 Fax: 989-269-8421
jeanette.renn@mi.nacdnet.net
 
Arrow Sebewaing River Watershed Tillage & Cover Crop I&E Project
Huron LC
The Sebewaing River Watershed is made up of approximately 66,000 acres of mostly agricultural land draining into Saginaw Bay. The two major water quality issues are nutrient and sediment loading and ice blockage leading to flooding in the Village of Sebewaing. The project goal was the successful implementation of the Information and Education Strategy contained in the Watershed Management Plan. Activities within the watershed demonstrate everyone impacts water quality and everyone, from the smallest lot owner to the largest agricultural producer, has a responsibility to improve and maintain water quality.

Huron Conservation District
Telephone: (989) 269-9540 Ext 3 Fax: (989) 269-8421
jeanette.renn@mi.nacdnet.net
 
Arrow South Branch Flint River Watershed Management Plan
Genesee LC
The Flint River South Branch is a 64,005 acre watershed located in southeast Michigan in Lapeer and Oakland Counties. The watershed has retained much of its rural nature and includes one of southeast Michigan’s few remaining trout populations. Recent development in the northern part of the watershed and along the M-24 corridor promises to increase urban pollution and degrade designated uses. According to some experts, it is the most threatened watershed in the state. This Watershed Management Plan outlines goals and objectives to prevent the pollution, habitat degradation, and overall impairment absent from most of this watershed and present in many other sub-watersheds of the Flint River. Specific recommendations, such as municipal adoption of model ordinances and dealing with storm water on-site, are made for sub-watersheds where conservation, protection, and pollution prevention are the main concern. Sub-watersheds that are already degraded are also addressed with specific recommendations to stabilize banks, build riparian buffers, and increase stream shading.

Center for Applied Environmental Research (CAER)
Telephone: (810) 767-6491 Fax: (810) 767-7183
bnickola@umflint.edu
 
Arrow Townline Road Closure
Arenac LC
November 2006 - The Rifle River is a major direct tributary of Saginaw Bay and has been the focus of numerous regional efforts to improve fisheries, control erosion, and recreation opportunities. One of its tributaries, Fritz Creek, has been identified as a major source of sedimentation and erosion, the source of which is the road stream crossing at Townline Road. In response to this, and recognizing that other roads provided access to neighboring properties, the Arenac County Road commission decided to abandon the road. However, they were not fully committed – financially – to restoring the crossing site where a culvert needs to be removed. In partnership, the Saginaw Bay RC&D decided to raise money to leverage county resources and other financing from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to restore the area to a nonerodable condition.



 
Arrow Upper Bad River Watershed Sediment Reduction Project
Gratiot LC
July 2014 - The Gratiot Conservation District is pleased to announce a new soil saving incentive program in the Upper Bad River Watershed aimed at paying landowners to adopt conservation practices on high-risk fields with the intention of reducing the amount of sediment delivered to streams. This pilot program will utilize a new online watershed management tool called the Great Lakes Watershed Management System developed by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in partnership with Purdue University and the MSU-Institute of Water Research. The tool assesses how much sediment can be saved from entering streams by applying different Best Management Practices (BMPs) on the land and paying participants based on their actual sediment reduction performance rather than a set flat rate. This pay-for-performance approach is the first of its kind in the Saginaw Bay Watershed and could be used as an example for future projects in other watersheds.

Gratiot Conservation District
(989) 875-3900 extension 180
ben.wickerham@macd.org