H2Ohio program invests $5 million in water quality

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Lake Erie

COLUMBUS — As part of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s H2Ohio initiative, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources is awarding a total of more than $5 million to 150 new projects that will contribute to improved water quality in the Lake Erie watershed.

The H2Ohio Water Quality Incentive Program began accepting funding applications in November from farmers and landowners willing to replace cropland with wetlands and riparian buffers, which act as filters to reduce nutrient loading into waterways, help reduce flooding or stabilize streambanks to reduce soil erosion.

The program is providing a one-time payment of $2,000 per acre for projects participating. The program was offered in combination with the Lake Erie Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, a U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation program.

Projects have been accepted in 23 out of the 27 Lake Erie CREP counties. Out of the 150 approved projects, 133 will construct wetlands and 17 will create riparian buffers. A full list of accepted projects is available at h2.ohio.gov.

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