Grand Lake St. Marys 'dying' from toxic algae
Programs to induce farmers to create buffer zones around their fields have been hampered by a lack of funds. The USDA’s Wetland Reserve Program offers $3,500 per acre to protect or restore wetlands, but farm values in the watershed are $8,000 to $10,000 per acre. Likewise, the federal Environmental Quality Improvement Program (EQIP) pays farmers about $50 an acre to create buffer zones, but the Ohio Farm Bureau says farmers can make two to three times that much by cultivating the acreage.
The problem is not the lack of funds but non profitable nature of the programs.
If fish ponds are set up instead of wetlands and buffer zones, the fertilizer and manure run off can be used to grow fish and this would be profitable to the farmers.