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Wabash River (Upper), Phase III WMP 25874


Wabash River (Upper), Phase III WMP 25874
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Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) received a 205j grant in 2017 from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to write a Watershed Management Plan (WMP) for the Upper Wabash River watershed. Upper Wabash Phase 3 Watershed is located in portions of five counties in northeastern Indiana – Allen, Huntington, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley. The Upper Wabash Phase 3 area consists of four subwatersheds- Aboite Creek (HUC 0512010110), Clear Creek (HUC 0512010112), Little River (HUC 0512010111), and Loon Creek (HUC 0512010113).

The Phase III project area drains approximately 228,303 acres and contains over 540 miles of rivers and streams, including 25 miles of the mainstem Wabash River flowing from west of Markel, Indiana to just east of Lagro, Indiana through the Loon Creek-Wabash River watershed. The project area also includes 23 miles of the Little River flowing southwest through the Aboite-Creek Watershed from west of Ft. Wayne, Indiana to its confluence with the Wabash River in Huntington, Indiana. Other waterways within the watershed are primarily small headwater streams or drainage ditches.

Monitoring data collected during the project found that E. coli and turbidity were elevated in nearly all watersheds and nutrients were elevated at nearly all sites. Several water quality impairments are listed in the IDEM 2018 Draft 303(d) List of Impaired waters for the UWRW Phase 3 area including E. coli, nutrients, impaired biotic communities, and PCBs in fish tissue. The majority of land use in the project watershed is row crop agriculture (70%) while industrial, urban, and suburban land uses are also prevalent within the project area accounting for 16% of land use, concentrated primarily around the cities of Fort Wayne, IN and Huntington, IN. The Upper Wabash River Phase 3 WMP was approved by IDEM and US Environmental Protection Agency in July 2021. The approved WMP includes goals to reduce the pollutant loading of nitrogen by 296.35 tons/year, phosphorus by 29.85 tons/year, and sediment by 7,742.72 tons/year. The overall project progress will be tracked using the action register as a guide for the schedule of activities to be completed throughout the future.

The Complete Wabash River (Upper), Phase III Watershed Management Plan

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