Ohio Senate Republicans are saying one of their top goals is to protect what they believe to be the state’s number one natural resource: Lake Erie. They say keeping Lake Erie clean will be a team effort that doesn’t just fall on the shoulders of farmers.
Sen. Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) says they want to bring in environmentalists, water treatment facility operators and farmers to make sure fertilizer and other nutrients don’t get into Lake Erie, causing harmful algal blooms.
While Peterson doesn’t go into specifics, he suggests that a new bill will encourage best practices.
“More grass waterways, more filter strips, cover crops, everything that holds the soil in place and holds those nutrients and keeping them from entering the water system,” says Peterson.
The Ohio Environmental Council says there’s an open dialogue happening at the Senate and urges that every party must be held accountable for their part in cleaning Lake Erie.
"There's no silver bullet so it's going to require a range of solutions so that's why we're keeping all options on the table," says Kristy Meyer, OEC's vice president of policy, natural resources. Meyer goes on to say that additional money would be helpful. "And then making sure that any funding that moves forward -- that it's tied to accountability and making sure that we're seeing real measurable results."
Peterson says it’s possible they might seek a bond issue to help fund nutrient management projects.