Watershed Management Plan Meets Final Approval

LCEB_baseThe Watershed Management Plan for East Branch of the Little Calumet River (LCEB) is completed and has just received all necessary approvals from IDEM and the EPA. Save the Dunes is excited to now begin the implementation/restoration phase for this project. You can download the plan by following this link:

LCEB WMP October 2015

The purpose of the watershed management plan was to provide a strategy and work plan for protecting and restoring water quality in our Little Calumet East Branch watershed. The primary parts of the watershed management plan included:

  1. Public concerns
  2. Watershed inventory
  3. Problem identification
  4. Source identification
  5. Critical and protection areas
  6. Goals and objectives
  7. Measures of success

Now that the plan is completed, Save the Dunes and the LCEB Watershed Group will meet to discuss upcoming plans and goals and coordinate implementation efforts.

The primary causes of water pollution in this watershed were identified as excessive nutrients, sediment, and E. coli bacteria.

The source of these pollutants is non-point, which is a diffuse type of pollution with many diverse sources. Non-point source pollution means that land use activities are the causing the water pollution.

Eight critical areas were identified throughout the watershed. A critical area is an area with the worst water quality and most in need of restoration activities.

We will focus our attention on these eight critical areas to help improve the areas that need it most.

LCEB_Critical WQ Summary_Final

Eight protection areas were also selected. A protection area has the highest water quality. We will seek to protect these areas from poor land use activities or excessive development.

The plan identified malfunctioning septic systems as a source of water pollution.

Save the Dunes, in collaboration with the Northwest Indiana Septics Coordination Workgroup have been funded by the Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Program to implement a Septic System Education Program. Save the Dunes is excited to get started on this project that will help educate homeowners throughout the area on proper septic system use and maintenance.

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