Accelerating Outcome-Based Ag Conservation in Saginaw Bay


Brief Overview of What We’re Doing

The Saginaw Bay Watershed Conservation Partnership, led by The Nature Conservancy with support from Delta Institute and other partners, developed and implemented a new strategy to address the primary and secondary resource concerns in the region (water quality degradation and inadequate fish and wildlife habitat). The partnership objectives included:

  1. Developing a framework (training, communication plan and processes) to demonstrate a successful, innovative, outcome-based implementation project by partnering with agribusinesses to deliver conservation to private landowners in targeted areas of the Saginaw Bay Watershed;
  2. Improving water quality by reducing sediment and nutrient runoff;
  3. Improving water quality and increase and enhance fish and wildlife habitat; and,
  4. Documenting project effectiveness by using the Great Lakes Watershed Management System to spatially quantify acres implemented and total sediment and nutrients reduced annually while monitoring long-term trends in fish community health.

Delta Institute’s role included determining eligible practices, prioritization and prediction of sediment and nutrient reductions, outreach planning, performance payment framework creation, annual reviews and adaptive management, long-term strategy for sustainable program implementation, and administrative structure development.

Lessons and experience from this project led to future Delta-led projects, including our collaborative Illinois Soil Health Incentive Program


We are grateful to The Nature Conservancy for selecting Delta Institute as a key project partner.


This project was funded by the USDA RCPP and the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Support Us

Create a thriving Midwest for tomorrow by supporting Delta today.