Toxic green slime is growing in lakes all over the country, including Lake Erie. It prevents us from recreational activities like swimming and fishing, and in some cases, contaminates our drinking water supply. Polluted runoff from agricultural fields and urban areas fuels the growth of these harmful algal blooms. Our foundation has supported over $14 million in efforts to address urban runoff and implement green stormwater infrastructure solutions. We have also begun to support efforts in rural areas to keep nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, on farm fields instead of in our waterways.
This summer, Teal Harrison, an Environmental Fellow from the University of Michigan (M.S. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), completed research for the Foundation to help us better understand what states are doing across the country to support farmers to improve the health of our waters. She interviewed staff from state-run programs to learn about the structure, funding support, participation incentives, partnerships, best management practices, challenges, successes, and future directions of each program. States included in the research were California, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.