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File / The Journal Gazette

Verbatim: Hearings set on St. Joseph River pollution

Statement released Monday:

The St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative is in the beginning stages of developing a watershed management plan for the Middle St. Joseph River watershed. A comprehensive watershed management plan cannot be developed without the help of concerned citizens who have a stake in the goings on in the watershed or the river itself. Therefore; the Initiative is hosting two public meetings in early December to solicit public concerns and ideas on the water resources in their watershed.

The Initiative was formed in 1998 in response to a publication by the Environmental Working Group that stated that the St. Joseph River was teeming with herbicides. The Initiative has been processing water quality samples for the past 14 years and results indicate significant pollution throughout the St. Joseph River. The Initiative has already written three watershed management plans to address problems found through water testing, and has begun implementation of those plans within the greater St. Joseph River watershed. In 2009 the Initiative applied for, and was awarded, a grant administered by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to fund the project.

The project area consists of 85,617.41 acres and follows the St. Joseph River northeast from the eastern portion of Dekalb County, IN and the northwest corner of Defiance County and southwest corner of Williams County, OH. The potential problems and sources of pollution cannot be identified and addressed without the help of stakeholders living in the watershed. The Initiative is urging all concerned individuals, businesses, and city and county officials to help in the development of a successful and comprehensive watershed management plan. There will be two meetings hosted by the Initiative in which the public can make their voices be heard on this issue.

The first meeting to be held in Edgerton, OH on December 7th at 7pm in the Shelter House in Miller Park (300 Miller Park Drive) and the second to be held in Butler, IN on December 8th at 6:30pm at the Butler Public Library (340 South Broadway Street).

For more information about the Middle St. Joseph River Watershed Project, the Initiative, or the public meeting please contact Sharon Partridge-Hall at 260.484.5848 ext. 120 or at Sharon.hall@in.nacdnet.net.

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