Environmental Law & Policy Center

Project Title
Protecting the Driftless Area's Clean Water, Habitat and Natural Areas
Chicago, IL

ELPC is the Midwest’s leading public interest environmental legal advocacy organization. The Driftless Area is a beautiful scenic landscape of rolling hills and blufflands, meandering valley streams and small town and family farms straddling the Mississippi River. It’s also the Midwest’s premier biodiversity and habitat hotspot. ELPC is exploring ways to protect clean water, wildlife habitat and important natural areas in the Driftless Area which is threatened by agricultural runoff. The volume of pollution spilling into waterways from livestock and farming operations continues to grow each year. Excess nutrient pollution can result in toxic algal blooms that choke drinking water supplies, and contribute to downstream low- or no- oxygen dead zones. ELPC will conduct a thorough analysis of available and effective methods for controlling nutrient pollution and develop initial policy recommendations for making those methods more accessible and attractive to farmers. This grant builds on a prior grant in support of the 2015 Confluence Conference in which the Driftless area was established as a priority.