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Lake And River Enhancement Grants Awarded

New grants for the care of Indiana’s water bodies totaling $1,290,880 have been awarded through the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program in the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife.

The grants help fund 33 projects in 26 counties. Local sponsors submit applications for LARE assistance and commit to sharing a portion of the total cost. DNR’s share comes from a fee paid annually by boat owners when registering their boats with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

The new grants include projects to control erosion and enhance aquatic habitat on rivers and lakes. Thirteen grants for watershed land treatment were awarded to County Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) to complement their efforts with local landowners to reduce sediment and nutrient runoff. Preventing these pollutants from entering water is more economical and effective than trying to remove them from lakes and streams.

Some projects target watersheds that have received recent national attention, including the Western Lake Erie Basin. Installing measures to reduce phosphorous on Indiana lands will help reduce the level of phosphorus that affects Lake Erie. In 2014, Toledo, Ohio residents experienced water shortages due to toxic algae blooms in Lake Erie caused in part by phosphorous. Parts of DeKalb, Allen, Adams and Wells counties drain into Lake Erie through the St. Joseph, Maumee and St. Marys rivers.

Other projects include creating habitat elements such as riffles and pools, stream meanders and wetlands that provide shelter areas for fish and other aquatic organisms. Such habitat enhancements encourage biological diversity in the streams and more opportunities for game fish, mussels, amphibians, turtles and other aquatic organisms to thrive. This also benefits the animals and birds that eat aquatic organisms.

Some projects use bio-engineering techniques, which are growing in popularity as a way to address bank erosion on rivers and lakes. These techniques use glacial stone, native plantings and fiber mats instead of concrete.

“We are pleased to partner with the sponsoring organizations at the local level, and this cooperation helps create improved recreational opportunities for boating and fishing,” said Mark Reiter, director of the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “Enhancing habitat for fish and other organisms while addressing erosion is a clear win-win for both the resources and the citizens of Indiana.”

The list of projects by water body, county, project type and grant award:

August 2015 LARE Grant Awards
Water body (County) Project type Grant award
Big Cedar Lake (Whitley) Design/build $8,000
Big Pine Creek (Benton) Watershed land treatment $40,000
Big Pine Creek (Warren) Watershed land treatment $20,000
Big Pine Creek (White) Watershed land treatment $18,000
Cedar Creek (DeKalb) Watershed land treatment $12,000
Cedar Lake (Lake) Design/build $49,600
Chapman Lakes (Kosciusko) Design/build $62,500
Cobus Creek (Elkhart and St. Joseph) Watershed diagnostic $40,000
Crooked Lake (Whitley) Engineering feasibility $14,000
Deer Creek (Grant) Construction $80,000
Eel River (Miami) Watershed land treatment $30,000
Eel River (Wabash) Watershed land treatment $70,000
Fawn River (Steuben) Watershed land treatment $60,000
Geist Reservoir tributary (Hamilton) Design/build $35,200
Lake Sullivan (Sullivan) Design/build $40,000
Little Pigeon Creek (Spencer) Watershed diagnostic $48,980
North and South Twin lakes (LaGrange) Lake watershed diagnostic $30,000
Ohio River (Posey) Engineering feasibility $13,500
Pigeon Creek (Steuben) Construction $80,000
Shatto Ditch (Kosciusko) Watershed land treatment $17,500
St. Joseph River/Eller Ditch (St. Joseph) Design/build $49,600
St. Joseph River Construction $56,000
St. Joseph, Maumee and St. Mary’s rivers (Allen) Design/build $32,000
Stone Lake (Elkhart and LaGrange) Design/build $17,600
Sugar Creek (Boone) Watershed land treatment $50,000
Sugar Creek (Clinton) Watershed land treatment $40,000
Sugar Creek (Vigo) Design $30,000
Upper Tippecanoe River (Kosciusko) Watershed land treatment $40,000
Upper Tippecanoe River (Whitley) Watershed land treatment $40,000
Veale, Aikman, Hawkins creeks (Daviess) Watershed land treatment $30,000
Wabash River (Tippecanoe) Design/build $50,000
White River (Delaware) Engineering feasibility $36,400
Yellow River (Marshall) Design/Build $50,000
Total = $ 1,290,880