Lake Monroe Watershed Plan – 1st Quarter Update

My name is Maggie Sullivan and I am thrilled to be working as the Watershed Coordinator for Lake Monroe. My job over the next two years is to spearhead the development of a Watershed Management Plan for the lake. What does that look like? A lot of it involves coordinating meetings and compiling information. I will be working with Friends of Lake Monroe on public education and outreach while also providing opportunities for public input and collaboration between different organizations. Ultimately, the goal is to make this a community undertaking and to garner as much support as possible for the final plan.


Here’s a brief summary of activities so far this quarter:

  • Friends of Lake Monroe conducted two public forums in collaboration with the League of Women Voters in Monroe County and Brown County. Over 110 citizens attended to share their concerns about the lake. Over the next few months, I will be gathering data and working to determine which concerns will be the focus of this project.

  • Our Steering Committee held its first meeting on January 20th. This gathering of local leaders and experts will help guide the direction of the project as well as act as a liaison with their respective stakeholder groups.

  • I have compiled and reviewed numerous existing reports on Lake Monroe in order to piece together the history and available water quality data. Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs will be gathering additional data through multiple sampling efforts over the next year.

  • Our first deliverable to IDEM as part of the 319 grant is an outline of the Watershed Management Plan.

What happens next quarter (February-April)?

  • Most of the second quarter will be focused on conducting a windshield survey of the watershed. This is done by visiting different stream crossings and recording observations of the stream. Is the water clear or cloudy?  Are there signs of erosion? What is the land use? Is the location a suitable site for collecting water samples? If you’d like to assist me in the field, please send me an e-mail at for more information.

  • We are also recruiting volunteers to help with our spring sampling blitz on Friday, April 24th (rain date Friday, May 1st). Our goal is to recruit over 100 volunteers to work in teams collecting water samples from 125 sites throughout the watershed.  This will give us a snapshot of water quality and help identify areas of special concern. If you’d like to volunteer, please register by March 20, on our event signup page HERE.

  • Other activities underway include conducting a desktop survey of the watershed (i.e. compiling information from existing documents), identifying locations to install watershed signs saying “Now Entering the Lake Monroe Watershed,” and developing a watershed awareness display for public education.

  • Next fall I will be conducting educational sessions in local schools. Please let me know if you have contacts at schools within the watershed that might be interested in participating – Lakeview, Unionville, and Rogers-Binford in Monroe County;  Sprunica, Van Buren, and Brown County Intermediate in Brown County; and Brownstown Elementary in Jackson County.

Thank you for your continued support of Friends of Lake Monroe.

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