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The Big Creek Watershed project was initiated by local citizens serving on the Posey County Soil & Water Conservation District board of supervisors in response to findings that water bodies within the watershed were impaired for pH, nutrients, and impaired biotic communities. The district then met with representatives from the Vanderburgh County SWCD, Gibson County SWCD, Southwestern Indiana Brine Coalition, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Four Rivers Resource Conservation & Development Area, Inc., Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Purdue Extension Service, Posey County Planning Commission, and Posey County Council. It was decided to approach the problem through a watershed study. The district then held two public meetings and announced the project through newsletter articles and press releases.
In December of 2006, the district was awarded a 205(j) watershed planning grant by the IDEM. The grant was to fund a watershed coordinator who would organize a steering committee to guide the watershed planning process. Water monitoring would also be conducted including biological, chemical and habitat assessments. Public meetings and outreach activities would be held over the course of the grant to get input and educate the community on the findings. The process would culminate in the development of a watershed management plan that meets IDEM’s 2003 Watershed Management Plan checklist.