The MACC is currently administering several grants that provide technical and financial assistance to farmers in specific areas of the watershed to install certain conservation practices.
The MACC was awarded a new grant in 2016. The goal of this project is to significantly reduce sediment and nutrient loading into Lake Macatawa, and ultimately Lake Michigan, by implementing agricultural best management practices (BMPs) in the three highest priority subwatersheds in the Macatawa Watershed. BMPs include residue management, cover crops, gypsum application, and water and sediment control basins. This Project is a partnership with Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway (ODCMG) and their initiative titled Project Clarity. Project Clarity was publicly launched in 2013 as an initiative to restore the Macatawa Watershed using privately donated funds. Currently there are 15 participating farmers enrolled in a variety of programs for various lengths of time. To date there are 1,560 acres of cover crops, 537 acres of gypsum application, and 1,207 acres of residue management under contract to be implemented. There has also been one Water and Sediment Control Basin (WASCOB) installed with an adjoining grassed waterway.
There are still funds available to implement BMPs in the watershed. Interested producers should contact Agricultural Technician Rob Vink for more information
The MACC was awarded this $241,822 grant in December 2013 to implement specific agricultural BMPs in the top 3 sediment producing subwatersheds (Peters Creek, Upper Macatawa and North Branch – see map below). The BMPs that are approved for this grant include cover crops, residue management and gypsum application. To date, eleven producers have participated and implemented 1505 acres of cover crops, 1299 acres of no-till and 1438 acres of gypsum application. These practices have resulted in a reduction of sediment delivery to Lake Macatawa of approximately 740 tons. The grant was scheduled to end in September 2016 but has been extended until September 2017. Funding is still available to implement approved practices. Contact Rob Vink for more information about how to apply for funding.
Funding for this grant comes from the Great Lakes Commission Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The Great Lakes Commission promotes the orderly, integrated and comprehensive development, use and conservation of water and natural resources of the Great Lakes Basin.