Lower St. Joseph-Bear Creek Watershed Planning Effort (5-73)

Creation of a Watershed Management Plan (WMP) for two sub-watersheds, the Lower St. Joseph and the Bear Creek (Indiana) is being led by the St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative. The project is funded by a Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 205(j) grant (ARN A-305-5-73) that was awarded to the City of Fort Wayne Water Utilities Department, and subcontracted to the SJRWI.

Begun in June, 2005, the grant is scheduled to end in June, 2007. The project includes creation of the LSJ-BC Watershed Management Plan as well as a ranking system that helps to determine priority for placement of future conservation practices, and creation of maps and other documents that will assist local government in their efforts to protect and enhance the watershed.

Stakeholder input is critical to watershed plans. The public is encouraged to participate in quarterly stakeholder meetings conducted by the SJRWI.

This watershed planning project also includes an effort to recruit, train and support local citizen volunteer water quality monitors. The SJRWI offers basic training for the Hoosier Riverwatch citizen volunteer monitoring program, which is aimed at increasing public awareness of water quality issues and concerns. The SJRWI sponsors quarterly support events for trained volunteers, and has four complete quality monitoring kits available for use by trained volunteers.

Through the Hoosier Riverwatch program, we provide education and training on watersheds and the relationship between land use and water quality. We promote responsible stewardship of water resources. Results of Hoosier Riverwatch water quality monitoring is made available to citizens and government officials working to protect rivers and streams on the Hoosier Riverwatch website.