WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) has awarded $873,152 to the Highland Soil and Water Conservation District. The investment will help to protect water quality, reduce soil erosion, and provide habitat for at-risk species in the Rocky Fork Watershed. Brown helped establish the RCPP in the 2014 Farm Bill.

“Providing farmers with additional resources to invest in conservation practices is one piece of what must be a comprehensive and collaborative conservation effort to reduce runoff in the watershed,” said Brown. “With continued federal support for state and local water quality initiatives and greater awareness of best farming practices, we can help keep Rocky Fork Lake clean and safe.”

Brown helped secure investments for Ohio water infrastructure projects as part of the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 (WRDA 2020). WRDA 2020 invests in key water infrastructure projects to be studied, planned and developed by the Corps, including our nation’s ports, inland waterways, locks, dams, flood and coastal storm protection and ecosystem restoration.

Brown was also able to include several provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill to protect Lake Erie and Ohio Waterways. The final bill includes provisions from Brown’s bipartisan Give Our Resources the Opportunity to Work (GROW) Actwhich will better utilize existing federal conservation programs to protect waterways and expand access to quality farmland.

Brown helped to establish the RCPP in the 2014 Farm Bill which created voluntary partnerships between agricultural and conservation groups aimed at helping farmers improve soil health, protect water quality, and restore wildlife habitats. This program has resulted in numerous innovative conservation practices that are reducing runoff into Lake Erie.