In June Ohio lawmakers voted to send the “Clean Lake 2020 Plan” to Gov. John Kasich for his signature.
The legislation would provide funding of up to $36 million this year for efforts to reduce harmful algal blooms, including a variety of agricultural best practices and other initiatives. For fiscal year (FY) 2019, the bill appropriates an additional $3.5 million under the General Revenue Fund for the Department of Agriculture in the main operating budget to support county soil and water conservation districts in the Western Lake Erie Basin. The bill also appropriates $20 million for the Soil and Water Phosphorus Program for the establishment of programs that assist in reducing total phosphorus and dissolved reactive phosphorus in the Western Lake Erie Basin.
In addition, funding is provided for Ohio State’s Sea Grant—Stone Laboratory on Lake Erie to construct new research lab space and purchase in-lake monitoring equipment and the Healthy Lake Erie Initiative to reduce open lake disposal of dredged materials into Lake Erie.