Cooperatove Conservation Project

Rice Creek & Battle Creek Watersheds

Coordinating Resources to Enhance Wildlife Habitat & Water Quality

Location: Midwest/Northern High Plains Region: Michigan

Project Summary: A project to coordinate resources from all levels of government and non-profit organizations for the common goal of reducing point and non-point water pollution.
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NRCS Michigan
Resource Challenge
 The Rice Creek and Battle Creek River watersheds both have water quality issues, including both point and non-point water pollution.

 The Rice Creek watershed group formed in response to a potential wastewater lagoon discharge from the Village of Springport into Rice Creek. In the Battle Creek River watershed, a local watershed group formed in response to a Total Maximum Daily Load being implemented for the Kalamazoo River. Battle Creek was named as a leading contributor of sediment and phosphorus to the Kalamazoo and targeted as a priority sub-watershed.

 The Rice and Battle Creek watersheds cooperation agreement was signed so that resources from all sources were coordinated to ensure maximum impact on water quality in the project area.


Examples of Key Partners
 ·          U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

 ·          Potawatomi Resource Conservation & Development

 ·          Environmental Protection Agency

 ·          State of Michigan

 ·          Calhoun Conservation District

 ·          Thornapple-Grand Conservation District

 ·          Jackson County Conservation District

 ·          Calhoun, Eaton and Jackson, County Drain Commissions

 ·          Eaton County Drain Commission

·          Pheasants Forever

 ·          The Nature Conservancy

 ·          Ducks Unlimited











Results and Accomplishments
 ·          100% of Farm Bill applications in the two watersheds were accepted

 ·          Conservation plans have begun for several landowners in the two watersheds

 ·          Trout habitat structures were installed in an efficient and coordinated effort by several groups

 ·          Communication and cooperation between key groups has increased.

 ·          Resource providers more aware of  resources available from other agencies

 ·          The prioritization of Farm Bill funding has proven to be both a significant source of assistance as well as a powerful leveraging tool.

 ·          The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has dedicated over $500,000 in Clean Water Act, Section 319 funds to the two watersheds in support of the partnership.

 ·          Over $300,000 in additional, non-NRCS funds have been acquired through multiple partners to plan and implement a variety of projects, including innovative geomorphic assessments, habitat and stream restorations, and 3 dam removals. 

 ·           Several Conservation Planners are trained and working with support from NRCS and the Potawatomi Resource Conservation & Development Council.

 ·          Working with Pheasants Forever and private entities, the US Fish & Wildlife Service has prioritized its Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program funds to establish several native prairies and wetlands on private lands. 

 ·          The prioritization of funds by multiple partners has helped dissolve political boundaries, streamlined program implementation and furthered a watershed approach to conservation.











Resources from all levels of government and non-profit organizations were coordinated in order to have a maximum impact of improving water quality.

Project Contact
Alan Herceg
Assistant State Conservationist/Programs
USDA Natural Resources Conservation ServiceóMichigan
3001 Coolidge Road, Suite 250
East Lansing, MI 48823
(517) 324-5282


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