Watershed Management Plan 2nd Quarter 2020 Report

One of the first steps in developing a watershed management plan is evaluating the watershed, which is to say all the land and streams that drain into Lake Monroe.  Our watershed has more than 400 square miles of land and includes more than 1,251 miles of mapped streams so there is a lot to see.  I have been busy conducting a windshield survey, which is to say that I have been driving around looking at land and stream conditions throughout the watershed.  If you’d like to see some photos and learn a little more about the process, check out this presentation: PRESENTATION ON GOOGLE DRIVE

Our Spring Watershed Sampling Blitz to collect water samples from throughout the watershed was originally scheduled for April 24th.  However, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the closing of the Indiana University campus, we have postponed the event until the spring of 2021.  We are planning to move forward with our Fall Watershed Sampling Blitz on September 18th.  Regular monthly sampling on the four main tributaries to Lake Monroe (North Fork Salt Creek, Middle Fork Salt Creek, South Fork Salt Creek, and Crooked Creek) begins this month (April).  

My current focus is writing up data collected through the windshield survey and summarized from existing studies.  This will provide the background section of the watershed management plan and help us identify areas of interest to focus future research.  I have also compiled the stakeholder concerns that were brainstormed at our community forums held in Bloomington and Nashville.  (See this separate blog post for more details.)  Our next step will be determining what data is available to evaluate each concern in more detail.   

During the third quarter (May-July), we will ramp up our outreach and education efforts.  Given the coronavirus situation, we are currently focusing on web-based strategies.  (Did you see our recent post about four great hikes in the Lake Monroe watershed?)  Hopefully this summer we will be out at farmers’ markets and county fairs teaching community members how to protect and improve Lake Monroe.

If you have questions, suggestions, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at watershed@friendsoflakemonroe.org or by phone at (812) 558-0217.

 

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