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A well-managed and operational Conservation Gateway is in our future! Marketing, Conservation, and Science have partnered on a plan to rebuild the Gateway into the organization’s enterprise content management system (AEM), with a planned launch of a minimal viable product for January of 2024. If you’re interested in learning more about the project, reach out to for more info!
**Click here for the results of the inaugural 

Saginaw Bay Agricultural Conservation Awards**

The Saginaw Bay Watershed Pay-for-Performance (PfP) Project offers a non-traditional conservation funding option for land users in the Saginaw Bay Watershed.  Through PfP, participants receive annual payments based on the sediment load reductions they achieve by implementing new soil conservation practices.   

Launched in 2015 and funded via the EPA's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the five year Saginaw Bay Watershed PfP Project will test the efficacy of a pay-for-performance program in accelerating the implementation of key conservation practices across important agricultural areas of the Saginaw Bay Watershed to substantially reduce sediment and nutrient loading. The project funds an experienced team of organizations to develop this new and innovative program, as well as a dedicated conservation technician to recruit landowners and oversee landowner contracts, payments and program evaluation. The Project Team will also develop recommendations for sustaining the program after federal funding is exhausted by exploring potential market drivers. The Project Team includes members of the Michigan Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, the Delta Institute, Great Lakes Commission, MSU-Institute of Water Research and the Blue Water Conservation District.  Blue Water Conservation District has been selected to house the Conservation Technician responsible for recruiting landowners and overseeing practice implementation. 

Certain area within the Saginaw Bay Watershed are eligible for PfP funding include the Cass River Watershed, the Pine/Chippewa Rivers Watershed, the Saginaw River Watershed and the Shiawassee RIver Watershed.  The Nature Conservancy has developed the models and data analysis to set ecologically-relevant outcome-based conservation goals in these areas, which will enable project partners to target practices to the areas that offer the highest ecological return on investment and track progress towards those implementation goals by utilizing the Great Lakes Watershed Management System

Current Rates:

$ per TON of sediment reduced (annually)​ ​$225
Impaired watershed bonus​ (one-time) ​$500
​Landowner referral bonus ​$50

For more information on program payments, conservation practices or agreement terms, please contact:

Megan Naplin, Conservation Technician
Blue Water Conservation District
50 E. Miller Road
Sandusky, MI  48471
(810) 648-2988

Q:  How much could I expect to receive for adopting conservation on my farm?
A:  Your total amount of payment = rate ($225) x amount of sediment reduced (tons).  See the Saginaw Bay Watershed visualization tools below to get an estimated range of sediment reductions and associated payments that could be acheived through various conservation scenarios.

Saginaw Bay PfP Program Dashboard

Saginaw Bay: Modeling Field-Scale Sediment Reductions

Graph and chart below represent current data of enrollment and sediment runoff reduction in Saginaw Bay as of May 01, 2018. Click on either image for updated data and interactive features!

SB PfP Program Enrollment.pngSB PfP Enrollment Key.png

 SB Sediment Reduction Modeling.png

For more information on the Saginaw Bay Watershed PfP program, please see the resources posted below: 



Eligible Practices
Great Lakes Watershed Management System