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!
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.