Area SWCDs start next phase of WMP development

The Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), with the cooperation of Allen, Wells, Wabash and Whitley counties, has initiated the development of a Watershed Management Plan (WMP) for Phase 3 of the Upper Wabash River Watershed.

The motivation for the plan stems from known water-quality problems present throughout much of the Wabash River Basin. The watershed management plan is a continuation of past projects focused on distinguishing the most degraded areas of the watershed in greatest need of conservation efforts.

During the planning process, the watershed will be characterized through research of existing data, input gathered from stakeholders, water-quality monitoring and windshield surveys.

Data will be analyzed to determine the most prominent water quality impairments and both the causes and sources of those problems will be addressed. Sub-watersheds within the Phase 3 project area of the Upper Wabash River Watershed will be ranked as to the degree in which they contribute to water-quality problems in the Wabash River. Sub-watersheds that are ranked highest for their contribution to water- quality problems will be identified as critical areas.

Critical areas are those areas that would benefit most from the implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to address inputs of pollutants to area streams and thus are where financial and technical resources will be focused in future imple- mentation phases.

The Huntington County SWCD is hosting a steering committee meeting on Thursday July 19, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District Office, 2040 Riverfork Drive, Huntington. The main objectives of the meeting are to provide initial background information on the planning process and to develop a list of stakeholder concerns as they relate to water-quality in the Upper Wabash River Watershed. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the meeting and will be given time to ask questions and provide input.

For more information, contact Collin Huffine, watershed coordinator, at 765-914-2324 or at collinhuffine87@gmail.com. The Huntington County SWCD office can be reached at 356-6816 ext. 3.