Our land and waters are valuable natural resources that influence quality of life. UWRBC has strived to improve these resources and benefit our local communities through securing a variety of federal and state grants. A summary of UWRBC's grant funded projects follows:
UWRBC was awarded $100,000 in Clean Water Act Section 205(j) funding from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to develop the Upper Wabash River Phase I Watershed Management Plan completed from 2004-2007. The Phase I Watershed Management Plan encompassed the Wabash River watershed in Adams, Jay, and southeastern Wells Counties.
UWRBC was awarded $198,500 in Clean Water Act Section 319 funding from IDEM to carry out recommendations in the Upper Wabash River Phase I Watershed Management Plan from 2009-2013. Most of these funds were put into the hands of local landowners in the form of cost-share to implement best management practices that improve soil health and water quality.
UWRBC was awarded $131,250 in Clean Water Act Section 205(j) funding from IDEM to develop the Upper Wabash River Phase II Watershed Management Plan completed from 2012-2015. The Phase II Watershed Management Plan encompassed the Wabash River watershed in Wells County as well as the southeastern Huntington County and the southwestern corner of Allen County.
UWRBC entered into a partnership with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to provide financial and technical assistance to Hickory Branch-Wabash River watershed landowners and producers through the Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative. The $164,120 allocation and technical assistance enabled landowners and producers to install and maintain conservation practices in areas having priority natural resource concerns based on previous studies.
UWRBC was awarded $280,000 in Clean Water Act Section 319 funding from IDEM to implement the Upper Wabash River Phase II Watershed Management Plan between 2015-2018. Most of the funding was distributed to local landowners in the form of cost-share to implement best management practices for improving soil health and water quality.
UWRBC developed an application for $138,200 in Clean Water Act Section 205(j) funding from IDEM for a Phase III Upper Wabash River Watershed Management Plan. Phase III included the watershed in Huntington County, but also parts of Allen and Whitely Counties outside of the jurisdiction of UWRBC; thus, the project was transferred to the Huntington County Soil and Water Conservation District to oversee and manage. The management plan was completed in 2021.
UWRBC was awarded a $40,000 Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) Program grant to study the Wabash River and identify problem areas between the Ohio-Indiana state line and Bluffton (Phase I). A total of six primary problem areas consisting of bank erosion were identified. Four of these areas were near roadways and listed as having potential for the loss of human life. To date the four most serious problem areas are in the process of being addressed or have been addressed by UWRBC and/or other government entities.
UWRBC was awarded a $40,000 Indiana DNR LARE grant to study the Wabash River and look for problem areas between Bluffton and Markle (Phase II). Primary problem areas identified for which solutions were produced include bank instability along Johns Creek and an overabundance of riprap interfering with hydraulic and biotic interaction between the Wabash River and Bills Creek in Bluffton. Thanks to Boy Scout Troop 149 of Bluffton, the excess riprap was removed from Bills Creek in August 2021.
UWRBC was awarded a $34,000 Indiana DNR LARE grant for an engineered design to stabilize the bank and restore a portion of the Wabash River floodplain adjacent to County Road 1100 South in Adams County as a follow-up to the Phase I Functional Assessment.
The Adams County Highway Department with support from the UWRBC was awarded a $95,500 Indiana DNR LARE grant to implement the engineered design produced earlier in the year and also funded by LARE. The bank stabilization and floodplain restoration will help prevent the Wabash River from undermining future safety on County Road 1100 South in Adams County.
Huntington County SWCD applied for Clean Water Act Section 319 funding from IDEM to carry out recommendations in the Phase III Upper Wabash River Watershed Management Plan completed in 2021. Huntington County SWCD will manage the project. UWRBC provided a letter of support to provide minimal in-kind services to strengthen the grant application.
A $40,000 grant was awarded to UWRBC in 2021 by the Indiana DNR LARE Program to conduct a study on Little River (Phase III), a significant tributary in the Upper Wabash River Watershed in Huntington County, and a major contributor of sediment to the Wabash River.
The LARE Grant for the Functional Assessment provided a foundation for the LARE Grant for the Design to stabilize the river bank on hairpin turn in the Wabash River along the south side of Road 1100S southeast of Geneva. And that LARE Grant provided the foundation for the LARE Grant secured by the Adams County Commissioners to execute the design (80/20 as the previous two grants). While it isn’t a grant executed by the UWRBC, the project is a direct result of the UWRBC partnering with Adams County to make the watershed a better watershed.