12 Dec H2Ohio Incentive Program to Improve Water Quality
The wheels are in motion with regard to a new H2Ohio project, namely the Water Quality Incentive Program (WQIP). Encouraging farmers to aid in this conservation effort, Governor DeWine touted this new initiative as one that would “ensure safe and clean water in Ohio. It is a comprehensive, data-driven approach to improving water quality over the long term.”
Ag producers in our area have an even greater opportunity now to demonstrate good stewardship of our soil and water resources. By participating in WQIP, a one-time payment of $2000 per acre for wetlands and riparian buffers would be awarded. That’s in addition to the regular incentive and annual rental payments that farm owners or operators would receive through the Lake Erie CREP program!
This program is geared towards new sign ups from those who meet all the eligibility requirements spelled out on the attached fact sheet. Wetlands and riparian buffers are conservation practices that have proven to be extremely effective as filters in reducing the nutrient loading to our streams, rivers, and Lake Erie! Signups for WQIP just got underway on December 1, with applications to be accepted through January 29, 2021.
As the ODNR Director Mary Mertz stated, this new program is going to provide farmers “a unique opportunity to benefit the environment and themselves!” If you have any questions about WQIP or have interest in submitting an application, get in contact with your county SWCD office, the ODNR Division of Wildlife Private Lands Biologist or the Division of Forestry Service Forester.