State of the River Report released March 18, 2011. Fifteen years of water quality monitoring, educational efforts and assistance to land owners hasn’t eliminated the threats to water quality in the St. Joseph River watershed.
Read the State of the River report to learn what has been done and what still must be accomplished to improve water quality. (click picture)

Go with the Flow on the St. Joe!

Flow the St. Joe
Spend the day immersed in the beauty of a natural treasure
Paddle the St. Joseph River with us
October 4, 2014

Bring your friends and family along for a fun afternoon on one of the most beautiful and interesting stretches of the St. Joe River.

 As you paddle, you’ll learn about the river as you look for points of interest indicated on the map provided.  The trees should be starting their fall color show, and you’re likely to see wildlife such as great blue herons, painted turtles and maybe even a red fox making his rounds.
This is a recreational paddle and self-guided tour of the St. Joseph River from Spencerville to Leo-Cedarville.  Begin your 4 to 5 hour trip by checking in between 10:30 and 11:30.  Transportation, box lunch, water and educational materials are included in the registration fee of $15 per adult or two adults for $25.  If you need to rent a canoe or kayak, arrangements have been made with Fort Wayne Outfitters. Get all the details here.
Registration (Click Here for Registration Form)
You can register two ways:  in person at Fort Wayne Outfitters, 1004 Cass St, Fort Wayne, IN 46808 or you can send in this form to the address shown. If you also want to rent a canoe or kayak for the event, make sure you contact Fort Wayne Outfitters to reserve your boat.

Sponsored by St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative and Fort Wayne City Utilities
Additional support provided by Town of Leo-Cedarville, Fort Wayne Outfitters,
Fort Wayne Paddlers, Allen County Soil and Water Conservation District 
Festival Time!

Festival Time! Stop by and see us at many of the festivals throughout the St. Joseph River Watershed.  The SJRWI will be partnering with soil and water conservation districts to promote the actions we know you hold dear— those that lead to the Improvement and preservation of water quality.  We are currently making plans to attend the following festivals:
2nd Annual Summer Festival - Hamilton, IN
Saturday, August 23, 2014
40th Annual Johnny Appleseed Festival
September 20-21, 2014
83rd Dekalb County Free Fall Fair
September 22, 2014 - September 27, 2014
Please stop by and talk to us!
As an added bonus for stopping by, you can sign up for a drawing to be held at our Annual Meeting later this year.  Drawing prizes include:

  • 6 Month Individual Membership to Spiece Fitness
  • $75 towards services at Spiece Day Spa
  • (2) $15 Air Boat-1 Gift certificates good for one Airboat Ride each
  • (2) $15 Air Boat-1 Gift certificates good for one Airboat Ride each
  • $25 Gift Certificate for the Leo Café
  • (1) Gift Pack from Sechler’s Fine Pickles
  • $10 Gift Certificate from Cooper’s Café in St. Joe
  • Full Day Canoe or Kayak rental for two people from Fort Wayne Outfitters

Hope to see you there!

Informational Videos:
1. What's a Watershed? and Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC)
2. What Do Rubber Duckies have to do with Nonpoint Source Pollution? Two Public Service Announcements from IDEM
3. Upgrading the water quality of the St. Joe River Watershed Management Plan video  

Working to re-establish the online capabilities of the water quality database!

IPFW Computer Science students have begun working with Environmental Resource Center (ERC) director Bruce Kingsbury on designing an online database interface for water quality data from the St. Joseph River and its tributaries. This collaboration is an expansion of the ERC’s project with the St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative (SJRWI).  The intention of this project is to re-establish the online capabilities of the database so that is accessible to all who are curious about what’s in our water (IPFW Environmental Resources Center). More updates to come!

Middle St. Joseph River Watershed Managment Plan Approved by IDEM
Over the past three years, the St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative and the Allen County Soil and Water Conservation District, with the assistance of Sustainable Natural Resource Technology, (SNRT) along with many organizations and individuals in DeKalb, Williams, and Defiance Counties have been working hard on developing the Middle St. Joseph River Watershed Management Plan. The plan was recently approved by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
Watershed Management Plans identify impairments in the watershed and create a plan to address them in order to improve the water quality of a community’s rivers, lakes, and streams. The plan is a guidebook for helping improve and protect the water quality of the region. “The plan belongs to the whole community, which is why we strove to include the input of as many partners as possible,” Jennifer Thum, St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative Project Manager stated.
The St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative hosted several meetings and presentations to raise awareness of the watershed management plan update and gather insights into the Middle St. Joseph River Watershed Management Plan.
From these discussions and visits to several locations within the watershed, the plan was developed to address the issues facing the watershed. The plan identified the increased need to permanently protect land within the watershed as well as limiting livestock in the rivers and streams, preventing sediment from county roads entering the waterways, and educating landowners on maintenance of their septic systems.

The St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative’s work to improve and protect the water quality of the Middle St. Joseph River Watershed does not stop here. The Initiative is continuing to participate in implementing the plan as part of the Middle River Watershed Steering Committee.



The following businesses, agencies and organizations have helped sponsor our Outreach and Education programs 

Allen County Parks and Recreation (

Allen County SWCD (

DeKalb County SWCD (

Steuben County SWCD (

Williams County SWCD (

Farmers and Merchants Bank, Biotill Cover Crops, Midwest Ag Finance, Rupley Farm Equipment, Bunge North America, Farm Credit Service of Mid-America, Liechty Farm Equipment, DEKALB/Asgrow, Brodbeck Seeds, Edon Farmers Co-op, Bennett Seeds, The Andersons, Alliance Agra, North Central Co-op, Paul Martin and Sons LLC, Nester Ag LLC, Agridry LLC, Archbold Equipment, Williamson Insurance Agency, Agra Warehouse, Max Delagrange.

We appreciate the help our sponsors give!

Septic Systems: Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind
A new DVD is now available. The video explains what a septic system is, what it does, and how problems can be prevented through regular inspection and proper upkeep. Copies are available at the health departments and soil and water conservation districts in Allen, Noble and DeKalb counties.


To watch the video online, go to or visit the Allen County’s YouTube channel at

Lower St. Joseph-Bear Creek Watershed Management Plan
The final version of the Lower St. Joseph-Bear Creek Watershed Management Plan has been completed and approved by IDEM. This effort has produced some very important data about the Lower St. Joseph and Bear Creek sub-watersheds. With the mapping and water quality data collected for this planning effort, it will be easier to target management techniques and changes in land use that will have the greatest impact on water quality in the St. Joseph River. The plan can be accessed below.