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Permanently Protect Problematic Watersheds Through Great Lakes Friendly Product Labeling

Year Awarded: 2021
Awarded: $90,000
Team Leader:  Freshwater Society

This team will develop a program that identifies smaller parcels of land that contribute disproportionately to nutrient pollution and will use private funds to permanently remove them from agriculture use. This design phase will be the first step in creating this program. The team will work with experts to identify land to put into conservation, create partnerships to buy and manage the land, and develop an income stream to fund the program.

A stakeholder group consisting of watershed modeling and water quality scientists, conservation and agriculture groups, and land trusts and Tribal Nations will advise the team and define the program and the core processes for targeting, acquiring, and managing problematic land. The team and its stakeholder group will also work with a marketing agency to develop a marketing program that consumer brands will participate in. Participation fees from these brands will provide the income stream to buy land and place it into permanent conservation. Iconic regional brands like Carhartt (Michigan), Duluth Trading Company (Minnesota), and Cisco Fishing Systems (Ohio) are being recruited to join this program. The team anticipates having three to five companies committed prior to submitting an implementation proposal to the Fund.