Curbing non-point source nutrient pollution is one of the most urgent challenges facing society. Pay for Performance is proving to be a viable approach to achieving the nutrient management efforts of agricultural lands, a leading source of non-point source pollution. The Pay for Performance pilot project in the western basin of Lake Erie is an example of an approach known internationally as "payments for ecosystem services". In this case, it offers compensation for implementation of targeted nutrient management practices. The initiative offers a tangible way to reduce nutrient loads. Its success is in part attributed to its timing. It arrived on the heels of six years of unique watershed education opportunities for the agriculture sector in the River Raisin Watershed. This session will provide attendees with information about the "Fields to the Great Lakes" and peer-to-peer education efforts that led to launching Pay for Performance. It will walk attendees through the field-based nutrient management modelling tool that combines the Great Lakes Watershed Management System with SWAT modeling. Finally, sample contracts will be shown to demystify the approach. For those wishing to replicate this approach elsewhere, speakers will highlight key elements for success and suggest pitfalls to avoid. A can't miss program for anyone serious about reducing nutrient loads to rivers or lakes from agricultural landscapes.
Amy Gilhouse, Lenawee Conservation District
Amy Gilhouse has been a Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP) Water Stewardship Technician for the Lenawee Conservation District since 2003. In addition to her role of assisting farms in gaining MAEAP verification, Mrs. Gilhouse has coordinated "Field to the Great Lakes" events, taking farmers out to the Great Lakes to learn more about current and emerging issues of water quality. From Tall Ship Sail Workshops to cruises on the Maumee Bay and Conferences at Stone Lab in the Lake Erie Islands farmers, landowners of farmed land and partners of agriculture have joined in learning what they can do to help restore Lake Erie and the Saginaw Bay. From 2013 - 2016, Mrs. Gilhouse spearheaded the coordination and facilitation of the Farmers Advisory Committee, a 100 member plus, farmer-led watershed group in the Western Lake Erie Watershed Basin of Michigan. Her main interests are centered on working with farmers to strengthen the agricultural community's engagement in conservation programs, while providing expertise on best management practices to protect water resources on farmland. Her interest in water quality was inspired by her Dad and Mom whose charter boat, Anywhere, convinced her that water quality was "everyone's" responsibility. Her favorite quote, "Thousands have lived without love, not one without water." W. H. Auden
Monica Day, Michigan State University Extension
As a Water Resources Education professional, Monica helps residents gain confidence in their efforts to protect and restore the freshwater resources of the Great Lakes region. She joined MSU Extension in March, 2015 after having worked on the MSU campus assisting faculty with grant proposal development at the School of Planning Design and Construction and the Land Policy Institute. She spent two years as a Grant Coordinator at the Michigan DNR's Natural Resources Trust Fund. Previously she served as the Watershed Coordinator of the Sandusky River Watershed Coalition, based in Fremont, Ohio and as the Stream Quality Monitoring Coordinator on the Maumee and Sandusky Rivers with the Ohio DNR's Scenic Rivers Program. Monica coordinates the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative: Cooling the Hotspots and serves as the co-coordinator of the Stewardship Network's Grand-Raisin Cluster which connects individuals and organizations across Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee and Washtenaw Counties. She holds a Master of Science from Michigan State University in Resource Development and a Bachelor of Arts in Ecology from Knox College.