Deer Creek-Sugar Creek WMP 2-22
The Deer Creek–Sugar Creek watershed includes portions of Carroll, Cass, Howard, Miami, and Tippecanoe Counties. All of the tributaries eventually drain into the Wabash River. The watershed of interest includes the area that drains into the Wabash River from Deer Creek, Sugar Creek, and Buck Creek. The Deer Creek watershed drains into the Wabash River approximately a mile before entering Tippecanoe County (from Carroll County). Sugar and Buck creeks flow into the Wabash River within Tippecanoe County. This watershed totals 345 square miles. By managing and improving the Deer Creek-Sugar Creek watershed, we can do our part to improve water quality in the Wabash River. The history of the projects including funding details, project purposes, and stakeholder involvement as part of the Deer Creek – Sugar Creek Watershed Management Plan (WMP).
In the fall of 2010, the Carroll County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) submitted a Section 319 Nonpoint Source Program grant application to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Watershed Planning and Restoration Section. Concurrent with grant submission, identification of watershed partners occurred. Many of these initial partners became part of the project steering committee. The grant was awarded in April 2011 and signed in April 2012. The grant’s purpose was to produce a watershed plan for the Deer Creek–Sugar Creek watershed, provide education and outreach to the watershed community, assess stakeholder opinions and provide educational opportunities, monitor water quality within Deer Creek, Sugar Creek, and their tributaries with hopes of showing a measurable improvement (change) in water quality during the implementation phase of the project, and develop and implement a cost-share program.
Once the contract was signed, the Carroll County SWCD sub-contracted with the Wabash River Enhancement Corporation (WREC) to coordinate and complete all aspects of this grant. WREC staff was responsible for writing the watershed management plan with input and insight from the watershed partners and steering committee members. Additionally, WREC staff was responsible for guiding plan development, coordinating and facilitating committee meetings, and planning and implementing water quality and watershed information gathering. Purdue University was responsible for current water quality data collection and analysis and stakeholder surveys.
Development of the Deer Creek–Sugar Creek WMP was a community driven process and involved a diverse group of local citizens, experts, organizations, and community leaders. The plan details the committees created as part of this project, the work these committees completed, and the outcomes developed by the committees. Additionally, input from watershed stakeholders and the mechanisms in which this input was generated are also included. All of these efforts were guided by the mission and vision developed by public participants and committee members.
The mission statement is: Communities working together to develop a roadmap of solutions to become better stewards of land, water, and wildlife in the Deer Creek-Sugar Creek watershed.
The vision is: An improved watershed with healthy streams, diverse wildlife, and sustainable agricultural practices.