The bipartisan Farm Bill from the U.S. Senate’s Agriculture Committee passed Wednesday morning and will include provisions to protect Lake Erie.

In a news conference call, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, who sits on the committee, said the bill will include the Give Our Resources the Opportunity to Work, or GROW, Act, which will invest in conservation programs that help farmers prevent phosphorous runoff.

“It really allows us to reform conservation and refocus our efforts to prevent runoff into Lake Erie,” he said, noting it will be an asset to farmers near rivers like the Sandusky and Maumee, which flow into the lake. “They’re near the western basin, which typically suffers from a lot of pollution and algal blooms in part because of how shallow it is.”

Brown, whose office held roundtables across the state — including one in Oberlin to speak with stakeholders about the Farm Bill — said the key to keeping Lake Erie clean is to keep working at it.

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