The Busseron Creek Watershed (BCW) is 252 square miles in size and is located in Clay, Greene, Sullivan, and Vigo Counties in West-Central Indiana. The Busseron Creek flows in a southwesterly direction to a confluence with the Wabash River. Approximately 83% of the watershed is located in Sullivan County. The BCW retains a rural, agrarian heritage with land use that is overwhelmingly agricultural (58%) or forested (30%). Surface coal mining operations have significantly altered the watershed landscape. Only 7% of the area is developed.
Over 16,000 acres of lands managed by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources provide habitat for a growing number of threatened and endangered species as well as large tracts of state-significant and rare wet-mesic floodplain forests. The watershed’s close proximity to Goose Pond Fish & Wildlife Area has served to increase the incidence of rare and unusual migrating bird species.
The BCW Advisory and Steering Committee collaboratively identified water quality source concerns as they related to various land uses. Goals, objectives and tasks were identified to address these resource concerns.
Water quality monitoring, habitat assessments, and geo-statistical modeling were performed to identify physical areas of concern and strategic areas in which to implement tasks to reduce pollutant loads. These tasks / areas were prioritized based upon critical concern and projected impact on water quality.
The Busseron Creek Watershed Management Plan is intended as a guide for the protection and enhancement of the environment and quality of the Busseron Creek Watershed while balancing the different uses and demands of the community on this natural resource.
The Goals address items such as:
- Education and outreach
- Reducing the amount of pollutants and sediment entering surface waters
- Increasing and targeting conservation efforts
- Increasing cooperation, coordination, and collaboration among all stakeholders
- Building and maintaining a solid organization to further the improvement of environmental and economic health of the Busseron Creek Watershed