Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016MI238B

Cooling the Hotspots: Motivating Farmers to Reduce Nutrient Losses

Institute: Michigan
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2017-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $16,877 Total Non-Federal Funds: $24,585

Principal Investigators: Stephen Gasteyer

Abstract: Problem Non point-source pollution from agricultural fields is believed to be the major contributor to hypoxia in the western Lake Erie basin, leading to increasingly severe harmful algal blooms (HABs) in this part of the lake. Specifically in the River Raisin watershed, only a small percentage of farmers and agricultural producers participate in conservation efforts. The ways in which information on conservation practices and programs is spread within the watershed is currently unknown. Methods In order to explore better ways to engage farmers in the River Raisin watershed in conservation efforts, we are working to understand the reasons farmers and agricultural producers get involved in conservation. The research will be conducted through three focus groups and a geo-coded survey distributed within the watershed. Objectives The goal is to increase participation in conservation efforts within the watershed, ultimately leading to better water quality in the western Lake Erie basin. The research will help to understand how to spread information more effectively about opportunities to engage in conservation efforts. In turn, this will encourage increased environmental stewardship and a more engaged community.