Press Release

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OEC Statement on the Status of H2Ohio

MJ Eckhouse, April 8, 2020

Columbus, OH – On Tuesday, April 7, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) applauded the nearly 2,000 farmers who submitted applications to enroll more than 1.1 million acres in conservation best practices to reduce phosphorus in the Maumee River Watershed. However, ODA also announced that due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disruption to the state budget, the H2Ohio Initiative may need to be reevaluated and reworked within the Administration’s budgetary guidelines.

The following statement can be attributed to Pete Bucher, Managing Director of Water Policy for the Ohio Environmental Council:

“We are extremely encouraged that so many farmers signed up for the H2Ohio program to increase conservation practices and improve water quality in Northwest Ohio. It shows that the program will play a key role in effectively addressing Lake Erie’s toxic algae problem. While we understand that the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic must be fully evaluated, we are hopeful that H2Ohio remains a priority and as many farmers as possible will be supported in the pursuit of a cleaner Lake Erie.”