Chesterton Tribune


Watershed protection is meeting topic Wednesday

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Save the Dunes will host a meeting of the Little Calumet River East Branch (LCEB) Watershed Group on Wednesday, March 20, at 1:00 p.m. at the Westchester Public Library Service Center, 100 W. Indiana Av., Chesterton.

Save the Dunes will provide an update on the status of the LCEB Watershed Management Plan (WMP) and there will be a report from the most recent Technical Committee meeting, where 2012ís water quality monitoring data was summarized.

Citizen input is important the process is begun of identifying stream pollutants of concern and critical and priority watershed areas to be targeted for restoration and protection.

The meeting will include a presentation regarding an online tool that could help the group identify areas of the watershed at risk for erosion and sedimentation from polluted runoff.

In addition, Save the Dunes will report on the process of writing the LCEB WMP and describe how the group will use the water quality data to develop social indicator surveys. These surveys will be used to measure watershed residentsí knowledge and their willingness to adopt structural or behavioral best management practices that can improve stream quality and aquatic habitat.

The results of the surveys will be used to target the areas where the group will implement the education and outreach program.

The East Branch of the Little Calumet River begins in unincorporated LaPorte County and flows west through unincorporated Porter County, the towns of Burns Harbor, Chesterton, Ogden Dunes, and Porter, and the City of Portage. The River drains nearly 50,000 acres of forest, agriculture, and developed lands. Some sections of the river are degraded due to pollutants such as bacteria, sediment, and excess nutrients. Nonetheless, the River is a great asset to the quality of life in northwest Indiana. Save the Dunes has been awarded a grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to coordinate the development of a watershed management plan for the LCEB watershed.

A Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Lake Michigan Coastal Program grant has also been obtained to coordinate public education and outreach.

Reach Save the Dunes at 219-879-3564.


Posted 3/19/2013