Save the Dunes Update - Green Drinks 9-19-11


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Jennifer Birchfield, Water Program Director with Save the Dunes, will update the group on several news items and initiatives.

Save the Dunes in partnership with the city of Valparaiso, was recently awarded a $607,000 EPA grant to improve a large detention area located at Evans & Roosevelt in Valparaiso. The basin feeds into the Salt Creek watershed and eventually into Lake Michigan.

Birchfield said more than 500 acres of developed land drains into the 2-acre Thorgren basin after a storm. That water contains pollutants, such as lawn chemicals, oil and animal feces. The grant money will spur efforts to naturalize the basin to mimic a wetland surrounding to filter pollutants. Concrete will be replaced by a meandering waterway. Turfgrass will be replaced with native plantings that have deep roots that absorb water and pollutants.

Save the Dunes officials hope the Thorgren basin will become a model for other basins in the Lake Michigan watershed.

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Save the Dunes Update - Green Drinks 9-19-11

  1. 1. Salt Creek Watershed Management
  2. 2. Save the Dunes <ul><li>Mission: </li></ul><ul><li>To preserve, protect, and restore the Indiana dunes and all natural resources in northwest Indiana’s Lake Michigan watershed for an enhanced quality of life. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>A watershed is the area of land that drains to a stream, river, or lake. </li></ul><ul><li>Watersheds are like funnels. </li></ul>Pollutants present on the land in a watershed can be carried by rain and melting snow into receiving water below. What is a watershed?
  4. 5. Little Calumet Galien watershed
  5. 6. Increased Runoff
  6. 7. What pollutants are carried with the rain into nearby waterbodies? Water Quality
  7. 8. <ul><ul><li>Sediment (construction sites) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bacteria (pet wastes, septic systems) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lawn chemicals (fertilizers and pesticides) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oil , trash, salt & heat (from roads & parking lots) </li></ul></ul>Urban Runoff
  8. 9. Agricultural Runoff <ul><li>Sediment </li></ul><ul><li>Fertilizers/pesticides </li></ul><ul><li>Bacteria (animal waste) </li></ul>
  9. 10. The result
  10. 11. <ul><li>Increase runoff volumes and velocities </li></ul><ul><li>Downstream flooding </li></ul><ul><li>Eroded streambanks </li></ul>Water Quantity
  11. 12. <ul><ul><li>How much water enters the stream? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How quickly? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How often? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 16. Watershed Management
  13. 17. The Salt Creek Watershed <ul><li>Nearly 50,000 acres </li></ul><ul><li>19% of Porter County </li></ul><ul><li>Urban, agricultural and forest land uses. </li></ul>
  14. 18. The Salt Creek WMP <ul><li>Completed in 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Background information (soils, land use, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Water quality data summary </li></ul><ul><li>Critical and priority areas </li></ul><ul><li>Set goals/activities </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation underway </li></ul>
  15. 19. Watershed Goals <ul><li>Goal 1: Reduce nutrient and sediment loading. </li></ul><ul><li>Goal 2: Reduce pathogen ( E. coli ) concentrations. </li></ul><ul><li>Goal 3: Improve stakeholder and public involvement. </li></ul><ul><li>Goal 4: Improve biotic communities. </li></ul>
  16. 20. <ul><li>Primarily grant funded </li></ul><ul><li>Cost-share program for BMPs </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>Education and outreach </li></ul>Implementation
  17. 21. Rain Gardens
  18. 22. Bioswales
  19. 23. Pervious Pavement
  20. 24. Green Roof
  21. 25. Education and Outreach
  22. 27. Thorgren Basin Naturalization and Retrofit <ul><li>Great Lakes Restoration Initiative </li></ul><ul><li>October 1, 2011- September 30, 2013 </li></ul><ul><li>$607,000 from GLRI </li></ul><ul><li>$126,100 from Valparaiso </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering/design by the City of Valparaiso </li></ul><ul><li>Grant administration/public involvement by SDCF </li></ul>
  23. 28. Thorgren Basin Naturalization and Retrofit
  24. 29. Thorgren Basin Naturalization and Retrofit
  25. 30. Thorgren Basin Naturalization and Retrofit
  26. 32. Thorgren Basin Naturalization and Retrofit
  27. 33. Thorgren Basin Naturalization and Retrofit <ul><li>STEPL estimated load reductions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>61.1 lbs/year P, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4,449 lbs/yr BOD, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and 10.7 tons/yr sediment. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do not take into account sediment basins, elimination of the eroding channel </li></ul>
  28. 34. Thorgren Basin Naturalization
  29. 35. Thorgren Basin Timeline
  30. 36. <ul><li>Thorgren public meeting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>October 18, 2011 at 5:30pm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Porter County United Way located at 951 Eastport Centre Drive in Valparaiso. </li></ul></ul>Upcoming Events
  31. 37. <ul><li>Jennifer Birchfield </li></ul><ul><li>Water Program Director </li></ul><ul><li>(219) 879-3564 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>