TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is teaming with businesses, nonprofits and others on a program to fund locally designed soil and water conservation projects nationwide.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is scheduled to announce the program Tuesday near Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay in Michigan, where farm runoff causes algae blooms that degrade water quality. The area is among many that are expected to generate funding proposals.
USDA officials provided details of the program to The Associated Press ahead of the announcement.
They said the purpose is to involve private companies, sporting groups, local governments and others more directly in conservation initiatives tailored to meet local needs.
USDA will spend $1.2 billion over five years and seek the same amount from partners.