IDEM helps fund local watershed group

The Manchester College - Middle Eel Watershed Initiative has big plans for water quality, and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is helping to bring those plans to fruition. IDEM has awarded nearly $600,000 to the Manchester College - Middle Eel Watershed Initiative for development of a watershed management plan and the implementation of best management practices in areas of concern...

• Manchester College - Middle Eel Watershed Initiative receives nearly $600,000 in water quality grant funds

NORTH MANCHESTER, IN, July 22, 2008 -- The Manchester College - Middle Eel Watershed Initiative has big plans for water quality, and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is helping to bring those plans to fruition.

IDEM has awarded nearly $600,000 to the Manchester College - Middle Eel Watershed Initiative for development of a watershed management plan and the implementation of best management practices in areas of concern. Best management practices are strategies that address and improve local water quality. The organization will also be monitoring water quality in order to measure improvements to the watershed.

With roughly 30 percent of Indiana streams known to be affected by pollution or contaminants, the need for change is great. "The dedication of local watershed groups like Manchester College is admirable," said Bruno Pigott, IDEM assistant commissioner of the Office of Water Quality. "The work these organizations do is vital, and their call for change is inspirational."

The grants come from the "319" water quality program, established in 1994 and named after the subsection of the Clean Water Act that created it. The 319 grants are specifically designed to focus state and local efforts on nonpoint source pollution such as fertilizer and road grime in storm water runoff from fields and roads.

Applications are received and reviewed by each state and submitted to the United States Environmental Protection Agency for approval. The process is competitive for funds that can be used for a multitude of projects, including education, technical assistance and monitoring programs.

Other Indiana organizations receiving 319 grants this year include: Save the Dunes Conservation Fund in Northeastern Indiana; Wabash River Enhancement Corporation in West Central Indiana; Delaware County Soil & Water Conservation District and Madison County Soil & Water Conservation District in East Central Indiana; and Historic Hoosier Hills Resource Conservation & Development Council and Dearborn County Soil & Water Conservation District in Southeast Indiana.

IDEM implements federal and state regulations regarding the environment.

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