Deep River-Portage Burns Waterway Initiative

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This presentation provides an overview of existing watershed conditions that are likely contributing to water quality and aquatic habitat issues and include information about a collaborative effort to restore these waterways for current and future generations to enjoy.

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  • The Deep River-Portage Burns Waterway Initiative is a collaborative effort to restore and protect the streams of the watershed.
  • Drains 180 mi2 of northern Lake & Porter Counties to Lake MichiganWithin it boundaries there are ~290 miles of stream & manmade ditchMajor tributaries- Little Calumet River, Willow Creek, Deep River, Main Beaver Dam Ditch & Turkey Creek
  • Municipalities: Cedar Lake, Crown Point, Gary, Griffith, Hobart, Lake Station, Lakes of the Four Seasons, Merrillville, New Chicago, Ogden Dunes, Portage, Schererville, St. John, and Winfield
  • Why the need for the project?Streams that do not meet state water quality standards or beneficial uses (ex swimmable fishable) at riskAbout 125 miles of stream listed as impaired (43% of all stream miles)Draft 2012 303d List of Impaired WaterbodiesDissolved oxygen 15.4 milesE. coli 36.4 milesImpaired biotic communities 91.5 milesSiltation 12.3 miles
  • Given limited resources…
  • Effective watershed management does not occur in a vacuumQuarterly public meetings. 3 to date.Values and concerns help drive the watershed plan- science based
  • Over the next year and a half we’ll be developing a watershed management plan to help guide restoration effortsGuidance-IDEM Watershed Management Plan Checklist
  • Well rounded list of concerns identified by public and stakeholders- habitat, economic, recreation, planning/coordination, stormwater runoff, drinking water, drainage, etc.
  • 2002 Deep River-Turkey Creek WMP2008-2009 West Branch Little Calumet WMPChallenge with implementation> organizational structure not in place, recommendations MS4 relatedWill incorporate elements of these plans into new plan
  • Goal is to discover true current conditions and clearly identify the link between stakeholder concerns and watershed conditionsSite photo 13t-021
  • Surficial geology refers to the study of landforms and the unconsolidated (loosely arranged) sediments that lie beneath them. Surficial geology greatly influences topography and soil development, which in turn, control runoff and infiltration of precipitation. Influences water quality in streams, lakes and ground water.
  • Soils are assigned to one of four groups (A, B, C, and D) or one of three dual classes (A/D, B/D, and C/D) according to the rate of water infiltration when the soils are not protected by vegetation, are thoroughly wet, and receive precipitation from long-duration storms. Group C/D soils are the most common hydrologic soil group accounting for 43% of the watershed area. Group C soils are the 2nd most common representing 22% of the watershed area.
  • Highly erodible land (HEL) is a classification used by the NRCS to identify land that is very susceptible to erosion for agricultural purposes. To be eligible for USDA benefits, farmers that produce annually tilled agricultural commodity crops such as corn or soybeans must use an approved conservation system on all highly erodible land. Overall, 53% of the soils in the watershed are classified as HEL. A majority of HEL soils are located in the southern ¾’s of the watershed.
  • Soil drainage classes identify the natural drainage condition of the soil and refer to the frequency and duration of periods when the soil is free of saturation. This information can be of value when trying to identify where field drain tiles may exist in agricultural lands or areas that might be prone to flooding.
  • The ratings are based on the soil properties that affect absorption of the effluent, construction and maintenance of the system, and public health. General reference of likely field conditions. A soil scientist is necessary to determine actual site conditions.92% of the watershed’s land area is rated as “very limited” for conventional systems that use absorption fields for treatment. This rating indicates that there are significant challenges and costs to assure functionality of the system. Furthermore poor performance and high maintenance can be expected which particularly problematic since there is no operation and maintenance program in place for existing systems within this region of Indiana.
  • Hydrology in the watershed is markedly different than what once existed prior to urbanization and industrialization of the region during the 1800’s and 1900’s.
  • Approximately 112 miles
  • Simplified land cover types based on 2010 data from NOAA.
  • Seven of the nine subwatersheds are impacted by impervious cover, exceeding the 10% threshold classification for a sensitive stream
  • IDEM is assessing water quality, flow, habitat, fish and macroinvertebrate communities to support the development of this WMP and to develop a TMDL35 sites totalWater chem, flow, habitat, macros and fishWe will be utilizing this information and the TMDL to develop our watershed management planHow much pollutants need to be reduced to meet water quality standardsIdentify priority areas where implementation projects are neededHelp identify what types of management practices are needed to improve water quality and aquatic habitats
  • 4-year projectFirst 1 ½ develop watershed planLast 2 ½ years implement plan w/i critical areas (319 funds)Continuous education and public involvement program
  • Deep River-Portage Burns Waterway Initiative

    1. 1. South Shore Clean Cities Webinar April 18, 2014
    2. 2. 10% 23% 59% 8% Percent by Mile D.O. E. coli IBC Siltation Based on draft 2012 303d List D.O. = Dissolved Oxygen IBC = Impaired Biotic Communities
    3. 3. Flexible Framework for ManagingWater Resources
    4. 4. • Watershed Community Initiative (elements 1-3) • Watershed Inventory (elements 4-16)
    5. 5. Increased Runoff Potential
    6. 6. 28% 0% 45% 9% 6% 3% 1% 8% Agriculture Bare Land Developed Forest Grassland Scrub/Shrub Water Wetland
    7. 7. 0 10,000 20,000 30,000 40,000 50,000 60,000 Agriculture Bare Land Developed Forest Grassland Scrub/ Shrub Water Wetland Acres 2010 2006 2001 1996 1985
    8. 8. http://www.in.gov/idem/nps/3893.htm
    9. 9. 11 13 13 11 11 11 2 10 3 3 7 13 13 13 2 7 11 1 11 1 2 13 1 2 1 1 3 11 1 2 11 3 1 1 1 10 7 6 10 7 17 11 12 12 9 14 14 13 11 12 10 13 9 10 10 5 15 3 12 14 5 11 11 10 9 15 10 14 8 9 8 14 9 10 13 16 11 12 5 14 14 12 16 16 15 12 13 9 9 7 5 6 8 7 7 7 8 7 6 12 8 11 4 10 10 6 5 5 5 7 7 5 7 6 6 8 5 6 8 9 5 5 3 3 5 4 5 6 3 6 4 5 9 8 5 4 3 4 3 7 7 4 3 6 8 11 8 7 9 7 9 7 10 4 4 3 9 6 7 6 3 10 4 9 8 6 4 5 7 5 9 4 4 7 9 0 5 0 0 0 6 3 0 0 0 0 5 7 2 0 4 0 2 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 6 10 4 6 6 6 4 4 6 10 4 10 10 10 10 10 6 6 4 4 6 4 4 4 4 4 6 6 4 8 4 10 4 10 4 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 QHEISCORE SITE NUMBER Substrate Cover Channel Riparian Pool/Current Riffle/Run Gradient Minimum
    10. 10. Total Maximum Daily Load Study (IDEM) Complete Fall 2014 Develop Watershed Management Plan Jan 2014 – June 2015 Education & Public Involvement Program Jan 2014 – Dec 2017 Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program Apr - Oct 2014 - 2017 Develop & Promote Cost- Share Program June 2015 ImplementCost- Share Program July 2015 – Dec 2017
    11. 11. Joe Exl SeniorWater Resource Planner Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission 6100 Southport Road Portage, IN 46368 219-763-6060 x137 jexl@nirpc.org http://www.nirpc.org/environment/deep-river-portage-burns-waterway-initiative.aspx

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