The Indiana Division of Fish & Wildlife awarded a total of $1.296M in grants for Indiana watersheds through the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program.
LARE is funded by Indiana’s boater registrations. The projects include dam removals and other biodiversity improvement tactics, as well as erosion studies and stream bank stabilization. But they also fund watershed land treatment that could help address high-profile nonpoint source (NPS) pollution in Indiana watersheds affecting the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico.
Watershed land treatment projects in the Wabash River and Ohio River drainage areas target NPS linked to the Dead Zone (hypoxic zone) in the Gulf of Mexico.
LARE grants will also address land-based phosphorus loads to Lake Erie and Lake Michigan. According to the Indiana Department of Natural Resource (DNR), Toledo, Ohio, residents experienced water shortages in 2014 when excessive phosphorus generated in both Indiana and Ohio resulted in algae blooms in Lake Erie.
In total, DNR selected 33 lake and river projects in 25 counties and 36 watersheds.