Friends of Lake Monroe Receives Grant!
Friends of Lake Monroe is pleased to announce that we have received $179,404 in grant funding from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. This funding, along with financial support from the Monroe County Stormwater Board and in-kind support from ten partner organizations, will be used for a $300,000 three-year project to implement portions of the 2022 Lake Monroe Watershed Management Plan.
The focus of the project will be reducing the amount of sediment, nutrients, and fecal contamination entering the lake by empowering watershed residents to take action. Friends of Lake Monroe will offer a voluntary cost-share program to help landowners off-set the cost of adopting soil and water conservation practices on farmland, forestland, and along streams. Examples include planting cover crops in the winter after the main crops are harvested, fencing livestock out of streams, and installing permanent perennial vegetation along streams.
The project will also include an extensive education and outreach program. We will partner with the Soil & Water Conservation Districts in Monroe, Brown, and Jackson Counties to host field days showcasing conservation practices in the region. These events will give farmers a chance to see conservation practices in action and to learn from the farmers who are already using them.
Another educational topic will be septic system maintenance. Failing septic systems are one source of nutrients and fecal contamination impacting the streams that flow into Lake Monroe. Many homeowners are unaware that septic tanks should be pumped every three years to maintain functionality. Friends of Lake Monroe will help organize three workshops about septic maintenance as well as sending educational mailers to the estimated 9,000 households in the watershed that rely on septic systems for wastewater treatment.
Don’t have a farm or septic system? Other events will include forestry field days, boat tours, shoreline cleanups, and a shoreline erosion monitoring program using volunteers to collect data along the Lake Monroe shoreline. Look for more information about the project in early 2023 or reach out to Watershed Coordinator Maggie Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.