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Listed below are summaries of projects funded with Section 205(j) grants by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management that are actively working on researching and planning ways to address nonpoint source pollution issues in watersheds across Indiana.
The Marion County SWCD will coordinate the activities of the Indiana Conservation Partnership (ICP) Technical Training Program Task Force and the Technical Advisory Board to promote development of the ICP Technical Training Program. This Program will entail expanding the opportunities for ICP staff participation in existing training and initiating the development of training not currently available within the Indiana Conservation Partnership to meet the technical needs of resource professionals and diminish gaps in technical assistance across the state.
The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) will collect water quality samples every two weeks from the Wabash River at the New Harmony Bridge and analyze them for multiple parameters. They will also maintain a water quality datasonde at the New Harmony Bridge to measure additional parameters every thirty minutes. They will use the data collected to calculate a total annual load of nutrients from the Wabash River. ORSANCO will maintain the project website, to provide the public with project details and access to the data collected, including calculated annual loads for total nitrogen and total phosphorus and a summary of all of the continuous monitoring data.
enfoTech and Consulting, Inc. will expand and enhance the current geographic and database functionality of IDEM’s Assessment Information Management System (AIMS) database to better address water quality issues and provide maintenance expertise on the current AIMS application.
The Jefferson County SWCD will produce a WMP for the Indian–Kentuck Creek Watershed, HUC 0514010102. The District will also conduct an education and outreach program designed to bring about behavioral changes that will lead to reduced nonpoint source pollution in the watershed. The Program will include public meetings, field days, workshops, river or lake clean-ups, press releases about the project and its activities to the local media, newsletters, and a septic outreach program targeted towards realtors, home inspectors, contractors, and neighborhoods on the education of septic system maintenance and care.
The Jasper County SWCD will produce a watershed management plan (WMP) for five subwatersheds in the Iroquois watershed, Hydrologic Unit Codes 0712000201, 0712000202, 0712000203, 0712000204, and 0712000205. As part of the planning process, the District will conduct a monitoring program to establish baseline data and identify potential contributing areas. The District will also conduct an education and outreach program designed to bring about behavioral changes that lead to reduced nonpoint source pollution in the watershed including: submitting information about the project to the local media; conducting workshops or field days addressing topics related to watershed planning, nonpoint source pollution and best management practices (BMPs); implementing one agricultural BMP and one urban BMP as demonstration projects to educate the public on improving water quality through BMPs; conducting a Hoosier Riverwatch Training Workshop for area high school educators and others interested in collecting water quality data; distributing newsletters about the Upper Iroquois Watershed Initiative accomplishments and future plans to watershed stakeholders; and maintaining an Upper Iroquois Watershed Initiative website containing the WMP, relevant maps, meeting announcements, and educational materials. The District will coordinate with Purdue University and conduct a survey of targeted households within the project area to measure educational awareness of water quality issues. Results will be used to help guide education and outreach efforts during the planning process as well as the implementation phase.
The Orange County SWCD will produce a watershed management plan (WMP) for the Lost River Watershed, Hydrologic Unit Codes 0512020812 and 0512020813. A steering committee of local stakeholders will be formed and will meet quarterly to guide the development of the WMP. The SWCD will conduct a chemical and biological monitoring program to establish baseline conditions in the watershed. An education and outreach program designed to bring about behavioral changes that lead to reduced nonpoint source pollution in the watershed will also be conducted and will include: field days or workshops about nonpoint source pollution and/or best management practices (BMPs); presentations to local elementary schools addressing the topics of water quality, nonpoint source pollution, and solutions to the problems; presentations to local agencies, communities, civic groups, environmental groups, or the private sector about the water quality, project progress, and BMPs; news releases to the local media; newsletters to watershed stakeholders; flyers or fact sheets that address water quality, BMPs, and nonpoint source pollution; and establishing a student service learning group to conduct chemical and biological monitoring in the watershed for educational purposes.
The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) will work with local stakeholders to update and implement the 2005 Watershed Management Framework Plan for Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties. NIRPC will also fully integrate critical water quality needs identified in local watershed management plans, the IDNR Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program, the Greenways and Blueways Plan, and the NIRPC Framework Plan into the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission’s 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan (CRP) planning process. NIRPC will update the Sensible Tools Handbook for Indiana to include water quality and green infrastructure best management practices and distribute one thousand (1000) copies of the document.
The Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) will produce a watershed management plan for the Headwaters Stock Ditch Watershed (HUC 071200010304). A steering committee of local stakeholders will guide the development of the watershed management plan. A monitoring program will be conducted to aid in identifying potential sources of E. coli, nutrients, and other pollutant contributions to Pleasant and Riddles Lakes. MACOG will implement at least one BMP as a demonstration project to educate the public on improving water quality through BMPs. MACOG will also conduct an education and outreach program designed to bring about behavioral changes that will lead to reduced nonpoint source pollution in the watershed including stakeholder meetings, workshops about nonpoint source water quality improvement practices, a field day to showcase the demonstration project, and a webpage with links and information on educational materials and partner Web sites.
The Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments (OKI) will update the Water Quality Management Plan for Dearborn County. The update will include identifying and addressing nonpoint source and point source issues in Dearborn County. OKI will examine existing land use data, future land use planning adopted by the Dearborn County Plan Commission, and population trends in the county, and provide maps of generalized land use types and potential growth areas in the county, including those areas with Tax Increment Financing districts to encourage economic development. An Advisory Committee will be created consisting of representatives of entities potentially involved in implementing the plan to assist with the development of the plan.
The Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) will estimate the total annual load of total nitrogen and total phosphorus exiting the Wabash River and determine the Wabash River’s contribution and causes of low dissolved oxygen in the Ohio River Smithland Pool. ORSANCO will install a continuous monitor on the Wabash River at their bimonthly monitoring station and measure dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, conductivity, chlorophyll, depth, and turbidity. They will collect samples every other week for one (1) year at the Wabash River Station and the JT Myers Station (ORSANCO’s Ohio River site immediately upstream of the Wabash River) for total nitrogen, total phosphorus, BOD, TSS, chlorophyll-a, and algae identification and counts. A web site will be developed to keep the public informed about the project and to provide a summary of all the continuous monitoring data and the annual total loads for total nitrogen and total phosphorus for both the Wabash River and the JT Myers Stations.
The Clinton County SWCD is developing a watershed management plan (WMP) for the South Fork Wildcat Creek Watershed, Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) 0512010703. The WMP will incorporate and update the WMPs previously developed for the Lauramie Creek and Spring Creek-Lick Run subwatersheds. A steering committee of local stakeholders will be organized to guide the development of the plan. The SWCD will conduct a monitoring program to gain understanding of existing water quality, help identify the sources of impairment, and help to determine priority areas for implementation. They will also conduct an education and outreach program designed to bring about behavioral changes that will lead to reduced nonpoint source pollution in the watershed. The program will include press releases, mailings about the project and its progress to landowners in the watershed, and an educational field day, a festival, and a workshop about nonpoint source water quality improvement practices and water quality issues. A survey will be conducted to analyze stakeholder knowledge and attitudes. The survey will follow the U.S. EPA Region V Social Indicator framework. Survey data will be used to develop descriptive statistics of the target audience to inform planning and future implementation efforts.
The Brown County SWCD will assess the existing conditions (e.g., bank instability, channel entrenchment, lack of vegetation, aggrading or degrading reaches, and quality of aquatic habitat) of the Jackson Creek watershed and the geomorphic condition of the stream, with particular attention given to identifying areas contributing high sediment loads to the downstream reaches of Jackson Creek and Yellowwood Lake. The project will utilize U.S. EPA’s newly established Watershed Assessment of River Stability and Sediment Supply protocol as a technical framework of methods for assessing sediments in rivers and streams. A report will be developed identifying and ranking high sediment yield “hot spots” based upon estimated sediment loads. The report will also provide recommendations for cost effective restoration efforts based on the development of a cost-benefit decision framework which considers the cost of proposed restoration efforts compared to estimated sediment load reductions. This framework will provide the Yellowwood Lake Watershed Planning Group (YLWPG) and its partners with a basis from which to prioritize future project implementation efforts. In addition, one potential pilot restoration project will be identified and detailed data will be collected to support a preliminary restoration design. Also, the Brown County SWCD, the YLWPG and its partners will plan to host and facilitate a hands-on stream restoration workshop with the purpose of providing watershed stakeholders and agency staff (IDEM/DNR) with the opportunity to learn and practice stream geomorphic survey and restoration techniques that may be applied throughout the State.
Upper White River Watershed Alliance is working with the Hoosier Riverwatch Program to increase the access and utility of the Hoosier Riverwatch Database to local leaders. Two project elements essential to accomplishing this: giving volunteers and all data users better tools; and teaching volunteers how to look at data without being intimidated by the volume or the science. The upgrades will provide data collectors with analysis assistance and a more user friendly environment for data input and retrieval.
The Posey County SWCD is producing a WMP for the Big Creek watershed, HUC 05120113110. A monitoring program will be conducted to establish baseline water quality. The District will also conduct an education and outreach program consisting of public meetings to gather input into the development of the plan, steering committee meetings, information to local SWCD newsletters, and press releases.
The United States Geologic Survey (USGS) will incorporate all of the data from 2001-2005 algal biomass study conducted by IDEM and the Survey, and use regression, multivariate, and threshold analysis to find the important relations and breakpoints among nutrients, algal biomass, habitat, land use, and biological community data. The Survey will produce a peer-reviewed USGS or journal report that will: (1) document the relations among algal biomass, nutrients, habitat, basin characteristics, and fish and invertebrate communities in the State of Indiana using appropriate sites from the IDEM/USGS algal biomass study 2001-05; (2) identify fish and invertebrate species that suggest excess nutrients; and (3) determine the point where biological communities shift with excess nutrients.
The Harrison County SWCD is developing a WMP for the Indian Creek Watershed, HUCs 05140104080, 05140104090, and 05140104100. A steering committee of stakeholders and interested parties will be formed to oversee the development of the WMP. As part of WMP development, the District will conduct a monitoring program to establish baseline water quality conditions, and use a Geographic Information System (GIS) to create a sinkhole inventory, which will be developed from existing data and interpretation of high resolution digital elevation models. Public outreach and education activities will be conducted including steering committee meetings, public meetings to inform the public about the projects progress and to gather information and support for the plan, and news releases to the local media about the project.
The Gibson County Commissioners are developing a WMP for two subwatersheds in the Patoka River Watershed (HUCs 05120209070 and 05120209080) in Gibson and Pike Counties, and a Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) for water pollution in Gibson County. Public outreach and education activities will include quarterly stakeholder meetings to solicit input in the development of the WMP and inform the public about the PER, project information and updates on an existing web site, information to the media, and quarterly newsletters to stakeholders.
The Indiana Biological Survey (INBS) is evaluating existing data from the INBS and the IDEM databases and, using other data as appropriate, developing an Index of Biotic Integrity (IBI) for cool water fish assemblages; a tool that will appropriately assess the biological conditions of cool water streams. The INBS will conduct three presentations for the public and other interested groups about the project and the development of the cool water IBI.