A total of 23 Indiana Lake and River Enhancement projects, including some in Kosciusko, Whitley and other neighboring counties, are receiving a portion of $994,300 in grants to care for Indiana’s water bodies.
The DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife operates the LARE program which includes water quality monitoring, bank erosion control, and watershed land treatments to reduce the amount of sediment and nutrients entering water. Six grants for land treatment were also awarded to Soil and Water Conservation Districts. These grants will complement SWCD efforts with local landowners.
Locally, Beaver Dam Lake in southern Kosciusko County is receiving $10,900 for bio-engineer shoreline protection. The Upper Tippecanoe River in Kosciusko County, is receiving $35,000 for watershed land treatment, as is the Upper Tippecanoe River in Whitley County.
A $56,000 grant for Webster Lake in North Webster will be used for bio-engineered island protection.
Other area projects and the grant totals include:
- Crooked Lake in Whitley County that is receiving $19,700 for gully stabilization and watershed detention basins
- Tippecanoe River in Pulaski County, receiving $42,000 for design project for stream bank restoration
- Yellow Creek in Elkhart County, $50,000 for bio-engineered stream bank stabilization
- Yellow River in Marshall County, receiving $33,000 for a water quality monitoring project
- Lake Galbraith in Marshall County, $15,000 for rain garden construction
- Loon Lake in Whitley and Noble counties, receiving $33,000 for bio-engineered island protection.
The grants help fund 23 projects in 18 counties. Local sponsors submit applications for LARE assistance and commit to sharing a portion of the total cost. DNR’s share comes from a fee paid annually by boat owners when registering their boats with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The grants allow for the completion of projects that are difficult for smaller local organizations to fund.
Some projects also will result in the creation of habitat elements such as riffle pools, stream meanders and wetlands for fish and other aquatic organisms. Habitat enhancements encourage biological diversity in and around the streams, including more opportunities for game fish populations to thrive.
“Simultaneously enhancing habitat for fish and other organisms while addressing erosion make this a clear ‘win-win’ for both the resources and the citizens of Indiana,” said Mark Reiter, director of DNR Fish & Wildlife.