319 Management & Implementation Grant
The Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District, along with partnering districts of Wabash, Wells, Blackford and Grant County SWCDs, completed their IDEM Section 319 Watershed Management and Implementation Grant for the Lower Salamonie River Watershed (LSRW) area.
During the past four (4) years, the LSRW group conducted water sampling tests, macro-invertebrate samplings and completed a windshield survey to acquire data for the development of a Watershed Management Plan for the watershed area. The information acquired from these sampling events and survey, helped to identify the most critical areas that need Best Management Practices (BMPs) implemented to help reduce run-off of excess nutrients. The main issues in the critical areas in the watershed showed excess nutrients in the river and streams, soil erosion and lack of conservation tillage. In 2015 and 2016, landowners were able to apply for cost share funds to implement BMPs such as filter-strips, cover crops, nutrient management, and equipment modifications. Cost share funds of over $105,987.00 were provided to landowners for implementing BMPs in critical areas, which entailed over 4,200 acres. These BMPs contributed to estimated load reductions of: sediment at 4,576 ton/yr., phosphorus at 6,340 lb/yr. and nitrogen at 12,661 lb/yr. By reducing the amounts of nutrients entering our rivers and streams will benefit our communities not only environmentally, but economically and recreationally as well.
Even though our 319 Management Grant ended this past year, we will continue to work with landowners and promote the implementation of BMPs that will help protect and improve water quality and the health of our soil in all watersheds we are affiliated with.