Press Release for the Crockery and Sand Creek Restoration Project

OTTAWA CONSERVATION DISTRICT

Your Land, Your Water, Your Michigan

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 14, 2021

CONTACT

Benjamin Jordan 

616-842-5852 ext. 5

Benjamin.jordan@macd.org

www.ottawacd.org

 

THE OTTAWA CONSERVATION DISTRICT HAS RECEIVED PROJECT FUNDING FROM THE STATE OF MICHIGAN’S 319 NONPOINT SOURCE PROGRAM FOR THE SAND CREEK AND CROCKERY CREEK RESTORATION PROJECT. 

 

The Ottawa Conservation District has been awarded $1.2 million in funding through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) 319 nonpoint source program for The Sand Creek and Crockery Creek Restoration Project. This funding originates from section 319 of the Federal Clean Water’s Act and is meant to address nonpoint source pollutant loading in impaired watersheds. 

The Sand Creek and Crockery Creek watersheds are listed as impaired by E. coli bacteria and face other water quality issues such as altered hydrology, wetland loss, excess nutrients, and sedimentation. Although these pollutants can enter the watershed in many ways, the primary sources include residential septic system failures, and agricultural activity causing runoff and erosion. This project focuses on identifying target areas for restoration and implementing best management practices (BMPs) to reduce nonpoint source loading. 

Ottawa Conservation District (OCD) staff will provide a number of services to residents and agricultural producers in these watersheds including outreach & education, technical assistance, conservation planning, and cost-share for BMPs. This project will include a Septic Assistance Program that will help identify failed septic systems and provide reimbursements up to 75% of the cost to repair or replace them. It will also include funding for agricultural practices such as cover crops, reduced tillage, livestock exclusion fencing, grassed waterways, filter strips, manure management, and more. 

In addition to providing grant funds, OCD staff will work closely with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to assist with enrollment in federal cost share programs, and the Michigan Agricultural Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) to encourage farms to get MAEAP verified. Other partners on this project include Ottawa, Muskegon, Kent, and Newaygo County governments, townships, agricultural retailers, the Ottawa County Farm Bureau, and a number of producers that have already signed letters of commitment to a variety of practices. 

This work will supplement the OCD’s robust watershed program which includes a similar 319 grant for the Bass River and Deer Creek Restoration Project, multiple road stream crossing and habitat assessment projects, writing of the Pigeon River Watershed Management Plan, and funding through NRCS’s Regional Conservation Partnership Plan (RCPP) for the Farmland and Water Quality Conservation Initiative.  This project is expected to start in August of 2021 and will continue until the fall of 2024. Questions and inquiries can be directed toward Benjamin Jordan, who can be reached at 616-842-5852 ext. 5, or benjamin.jordan@macd.org

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Ottawa Conservation District is a locally controlled resource management District created by concerned landowners and administered by a publicly elected board of directors. It was organized as a local unit of State government on May 9, 1938 under Michigan Law. The District provides local coordination for many State and Federal land and water management programs, cooperates with local government units to positively influence private land management decisions, and provides management assistance to landowners in Ottawa County.

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