Conservation Kick

Nicole Zacharda, Great Lakes Commission;
Mike Zeedyk, Landowner;
Tyler Miller, Defiance SWCD;
Jeff Leonard, City of Defiance

Partnering for Water Quality

Conservation Kick is a program of the Great Lakes Commission (GLC), which is supported by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). As part of the Conservation Kick program, the City of Defiance recently entered into a contract with the GLC and Defiance County landowners, Mike & Michelle Zeedyk to install a denitrifying bioreactor on their property. This is an experimental project that is intended to improve water quality by filtering nitrogen out of the water, using woodchips. Tyler Miller, of Defiance Soil & Water Conservation District designed the filter system so that field runoff will enter from drainage tile into a filter bed that is approximately 100 feet x 25 feet at the edge of the farm field. Wood chips will function as a filter and absorb the nitrogen before the water discharges to Platter Creek on its way to the Maumee River.

August 1, 2022

What if drinking water utilities could work with upstream producers to install conservation practices that reduce nutrient loss and protect source water?

The Great Lakes Commission launched Conservation Kick in 2020 to create a water quality marketplace for the Great Lakes Basin. Building on the pioneering vision of the Great Lakes Basin Compact to efficiently and responsibly develop, use and conserve the water resources of the Basin, Conservation Kick aims to keep soil and nutrients out of the Great Lakes and protect drinking water by allowing utilities, industries and businesses, nonprofit organizations and concerned citizens to invest in water quality credits.

Over the past decade the Great Lakes Commission has designed and led watershed-scale water quality trading efforts in Wisconsin’s Fox River Basin and the Western Lake Erie Basin. Conservation Kick takes lessons learned from these efforts to catalyze water quality trading across the Great Lakes Basin. Conservation Kick will expand the universe of credit buyers and reduce the transaction costs that often present a barrier to entry in traditional water quality trading markets.

By connecting drinking water utilities with agricultural producers, Conservation Kick transactions will result in improvements to community health, local economies, and the environment.

Conservation Kick is supported by Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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