The EPA recently updated their online Catalog of Federal Funding Sources for Watershed Protection . A good place to look for $$ that might not be in the usual places.
For some time now, there have not been many posts here. I seem to go in yearly spurts of inspiration but of late there are some things that have just continued to bug me. They bug me enough that I have returned to the keyboard to vent or rant a bit. Hence, the new Category.
The main thing that I have an issue with now is MAINTENANCE.
For some time I have participated in many watershed plans, projects and lots of meetings. We seem to always have the same questions at the end of the day. What is the water quality, is it improving? Are we doing any good? More fundamentally, is this worth the time and money? Does anyone really care?
Too often I think the fact is missed that best-practices need to exist over the long term to have an affect that will produce the desired water quality effect. Grant cycles (319) are short and by the time willing land owners are identified, the project is planned and approved, poof, the grant is over and it is time to move on.
Sound familiar …
I have some cases I am familiar with, which I will outline and perhaps start a dialog. Stay tuned.
Enroll now to improve your watershed management skills
If you’re interested in water quality and watersheds, consider applying for the 2014 Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy. The Academy, organized by Purdue University with support from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and other Indiana conservation agencies and organizations, gives participants the chance to:
- · Engage in basic and advanced level watershed topics covering leadership principles, watershed science, organization and communication, technology and GIS, stakeholder involvement techniques and policy skills
- · Meet, learn from, and build a network of peers
- · Interact with topic experts
- · Gain strategies, skills, and resources for successful watershed management
- · Earn a Professional Certificate in Watershed Management
Enrollment deadline: November 1, 2013
Web site: for the online application and information about the Academy, visit https://engineering.purdue.edu/watersheds/academy.html
IDEM’s Watershed Planning and Restoration Section, in the Office of Water Quality, has been working to update the State Nonpoint Source Management Plan. This plan will guide Indiana’s usage of Clean Water Act Section 319 grant funds for nonpoint source pollution prevention and abatement. The draft plan has been completed and IDEM is seeking public comment on the document. Please visit http://www.in.gov/idem/nps/3036.htm to obtain a copy of the draft plan and instructions on how to provide comment. The comment period ends August 31, 2013.
This is a five year plan and will set the policy from now until 2018. It is important that we participate now in review and suggestions, rather than later with consternation and complaints.
The Hoosier Riverwatch program moved this year from the Department of Natural Resources to Indiana Department of Environmental Management. As with any move, there are a few hiccups here and there, but the program and Lisa are settling into their new home quite nicely.
The Hoosier Riverwatch database is still at the same location HoosierRiverwatch.com and there is a handy link to this year’s training schedule near the bottom of the page. (There will be some more posts about the database in the future)
The program’s new web page location is at www.in.gov/idem/riverwatch/
Be sure to check the workshop schedule for one near you. Remember the river starts at your front door.
The USGS gauge on Eagle Creek at Zionsville is back up providing data to the web. While most of the water quality parameters were being provided until the high water of February 28th took out a tree as well as the cabling to the gauge house, the nitrate monitor was having problems sending reliable data with any regularity. Continuing, or perhaps I should say continuous rains, kept the water level high so that the cabling between the monitoring instruments and gauge house could not be repaired until the creek went down.
USGS did order a newer type of nitrate monitor, which doesn’t have as many moving parts and therefore maintenance problems. Then we had the pending “government shutdown” that may have put a kink in the paperwork flow for the new nitrate monitor. All and all it has be a bumpy season both bureaucratically and with Mother Nature for the Zionsville gauge, but data for all eight parameters is available, real time on the web.
I believe this is the only USGS gauge in the state with this complete suite of water quality parameters being reported to the public.
If you use Google maps or the Indiana GIS Atlas here is a tool to “kick it up a notch”. USGS has updated The National Map, TNM. Lots of neat stuff, did you know the center of population of the United States was right here in central Indiana at the turn of the last century?
Looks to be a great session on Tuesday, June 3rd, about just how farms and spreading urbanization get along. Registration (click here for details of program) deadline in May 27th. Mike Starkey has long been a strong supporter of innovative management practices in Eagle Creek Watershed. “Conservation Drainage” and its impact on storm water, is a new topic that should be of interest to all. Sounds like they are going to have pretty good eats as well.