MRBPLG Winter 2019 Meeting

The Winter 2019 MRBPLG meeting was held on February 26 at the Stroede Center, 319 Wayne Ave., Defiance.

Nicole Zacharda, Program Manager at the Great Lakes Commission shared information on the Great Lakes Sediment and Nutrient Reduction Program as well as the Blue Accounting Program:

The GLSNRP is the Commission’s long-standing small grants program, which provides funding to local units of government, conservation districts, and other organizations interested in innovative practices to reduce sediment and nutrient losses to the Great Lakes and their tributaries. Funded through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the GLSNRP currently has 51 awards (across 4 annual funding cycles) around the Great Lakes, with many projects taking place in the Maumee watershed.

Ms. Zacharda will also shared information on two “issues” she leads under the Commission’s Blue Accounting initiative, a joint endeavor with The Nature Conservancy, which strives to share information on how our region’s investments in desired outcomes (like safe and sustainable supplies of drinking water) are doing.  Blue Accounting’s ErieStat is a developing tool for tracking progress toward a healthier Lake Erie and the Great Lakes basin-wide Source Water Initiative which is protecting drinking water at its sources by lifting up local, state, and federal efforts with any toward meeting shared goals for nutrients, planning, spill prevention response, contaminants of emerging concern, and binational consistency.

Dr. Tim Davis, Associate Professor at Bowling Green State University  presented on the Lake Erie Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health.

Bowling Green State University has been tapped to lead national research into understanding and preventing toxic algal blooms that plague portions of the Great Lakes and impact freshwater sources around the world.

The BGSU Lake Erie Center for Fresh Waters and Human Health, founded with a $5.2 million federal grant, is energizing and expanding research on harmful algal blooms that pose a threat to the health of humans and wildlife. In 2014, toxins from an algal bloom contaminated Toledo’s water supply and highlighted the urgency to study this problem.

BGSU is one of four universities the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are funding with a total of $30 million in grants to study the effects of harmful algal blooms on our oceans, estuaries and the Great Lakes.

The Lake Erie Center, a collaborative effort among BGSU and nine other universities and research institutions, is formalizing and strengthening research partnerships on cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms (cHABs). It is the only project focused on fresh water. The other NIEHS/NSF projects focus on oceans and estuaries.

MRBPLG Fall 2018 Meeting

The Fall MRBPLG meeting was held on October 31 at the Stroede Center, 319 Wayne Ave., Defiance.

Sara Guiher, Water Quality Planner with TMACOG, provided an update on the NPS-IS Watershed Planning Process in the Maumee AOC.

John Blakeman and Wil Hemker presented “Integrated Planting of Tallgrass Prairie Nutrient Retention STRIPS with Annual Row Crops” The artful use of prairie plantings to slow runoff volumes and velocities, while capturing algal nutrients and sediments will have multiple applications in that region.

Watch a preview of the Prairie STRIPS story here:

There is an interest in hosting a panel discussion about the Michindoh Aquifer. We have made contact with some potential speakers on this topic for an upcoming meeting. Please let me know if you have an interest in participating on this panel or any suggestions.

Thanks for your interest and support!

Jen English
City of Defiance



WLEB Events – September 2018

September 5th, Allen County, IN, Soil Health Field Day. Roemke Farms, Harlan, IN. 3:30-7:00pm. More info to come!

September 6th, Allen County, IN, RCPP Tech Training Day. Roemke Farms, Harlan, IN. More info to come!

Sept 12, 18, 19, Fields to the Great Lakes – MAEAP Tall Ship Sail.  To Register Contact MAEAP Technician, Amy Gilhouse 517.263.7400 ext. 117 or Space is limited.

more information:

The Nature Conservancy
Western Lake Erie Basin Agriculture Project Office
Phone: 419-782-0652
210 Clinton Street, Defiance, OH 43512

WLEB Events – August 2018

August 7th, Defiance/Henry County, Western Lake Erie Field to Lake Field Day. New Bavaria, OH. 8:30am-2:45pm. Call Defiance County SWCD, 419.782.1794. Online registration coming soon. Deadline to register is July 9.

August 8th, Lenawee County, Center for Excellence Field Day. Clayton, MI. RSVP requested to Lenawee Conservation District, 517.263.7400 Ext. 3.

August 9 & 10th, Western Lake Erie Basin MAEAP and Conservation Practice Conferences. To Register Contact MAEAP Technician, Amy Gilhouse 517.263.7400 ext. 117 or Space is limited.

August 14th, Allen County, IN, Day at the Lake. Lake Erie. $20 per person. More info to come!

August 15th, Hardin County, Edge of Field Conservation Practices Showcase. Blanchard River Demonstration Farms. More info to come!

August 16th (tentative), Williams County, Field Tech Day. More info to come!

August 21 & 22nd, 4R Program and Stone Lab Tour for CCAs and Retailers. Hosted by Ohio AgriBusiness Association, 4R Nutrient Stewardship Council and Tri-State Watershed Alliance. More info to come! Space is limited.

August 23rd, Hillsdale County, Nutrient Management Field Day. Stoney Ridge Farms. Waldron, MI. 8:30am. RSVP by Monday, August 21, to The Hillsdale Conservation District 517.849.9890 ext. 3 or email

more information:

The Nature Conservancy
Western Lake Erie Basin Agriculture Project Office
Phone: 419-782-0652
210 Clinton Street, Defiance, OH 43512

MRBPLG Meeting – July ’18

The MRBPLG summer ’18 meeting was held on Wed. July 18 from 10-12 at the Stroede Center, 319 Wayne Ave. Defiance.



Steve Davis,Watershed Specialist with USDA-NRCS:
NRCS Initiatives in the Western Lake Erie Basin

Pat Beam, Landscape Architect with Beam Designs:
Ottawa River Coalition, City of Lima and Lima Area Community Projects

Video of July 2018 Meeting: with Steve Davis, Watershed Specialist presenting NRCS Initiatives in the Western Lake Erie Basin along with Pat Beam, Landscape Architect highlighting the Ottawa River Coalition, City of Lima and Lima Area Community Projects.

Meeting Scheduled for March 20, 2018

Save the Date for March 20th. We have two speakers planned who will join us in Defiance for discussion on water quality in the region. We will meet in the Community Room at 631 Perry Street, from 10 am – noon. Anyone interested in a working lunch to continue the conversation, please RSVP by phone or email to

We will hear from Dr. Robert Gillespie on the Water Quality Information Service. This is a resource for researchers, agency officials, and the general public for organizing and presenting water quality data from the St. Joseph, St. Marys, Auglaize and Upper Maumee River watersheds. It is maintained by the St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative in collaboration with the City of Fort Wayne, IN and the Environmental Resources Center at Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Richard Kroeger of Ohio EPA will present information on Source Water Protection Planning in preparation for Regional Workshops that are being planned for 2018. Although Ohio’s public water systems treat their drinking water to meet health-based standards, treatment is expensive and may not address every kind of contaminant. By taking steps to avoid chemical spills in the areas surrounding a well field or upstream from a surface water intake, a community can help reduce the costs of their water and better ensure a safe and high-quality supply of drinking water.

In addition to the speakers, we will have time on the agenda for legislative and other local watershed updates. Thank you for your continued interest and support.