WREC
Search
What's New
This area does not yet contain any content.

Region of the Great Bend of the Wabash River Watershed

Learn more about our on-going cost-share program! Request technical assistance to develop your water quality improvement project! Volunteer to help improve water quality in the Wabash River! Attend a workshop to learn more about your options for improving water quality!

Project History

Phase I of the project, watershed management plan development, education and outreach program development, and water quality and stakeholder assessment, started in January 2009 and concluded in May 2011. Phase II of the project, cost-share program development and continuation of education and outreach and water quality monitoring programs, began in May 2011. The third phase of this project focuses on implementation of water quality improvement projects throughout the Region of the Great Bend of the Wabash River watershed. Education and outreach and water quality monitoring programs continue in the third phase as well. To date, WREC and our partners funded more than $4 million in water quality improvement projects throughout the Region of the Great Bend of the Wabash River watershed (2012-present).

About the Watershed?

The Region of the Great Bend of the Wabash River stretches from downstream of Wildcat Creek to upstream of Big Pine Creek or from Battle Ground to Attica. This 29 mile reach receives drainage from nearly 478 square miles and includes portions of Benton, White, Fountain, Montgomery, Tippecanoe, and Warren Counties. This watershed includes nearly 1,900 miles of streams, drains, and tiles. Land use within this watershed is mostly agricultural with forest and wetland locations adjacent to major tributaries and much of the Wabash River. Urban areas include Lafayette, West Lafayette, Battle Ground, Otterbein, Shadeland, Romney, West Point and portions of Attica.

Waterbodies throughout the watershed contain high sediment, nutrient and pathogen levels. These issues are readily observed by looking at the river where sediment and algae levels typically create green or brown water. Major tributaries to the Wabash River within the watershed also contain high sediment, nutrient and pathogen levels. Wea Creek, Burnett Creek and Indian Creek are the most in need of sediment and nutrient reductions, while small tributaries within Lafayette and West Lafayette contain sediment, nutrient and pathogen issues and Little Pine Creek contains high nutrient and pathogen levels.

Learn more about the watershed and water quality issues in our map gallery.

Watershed Management Plan Development

The Region of the Great Bend of the Wabash River Watershed project's steering committee includes more than 25 community members who represent various city and county government agencies, Purdue University faculty and staff, neighborhood associations, landowners, agricultural producers and other groups including educators and civic and environmental groups. During the first phase of the project, this committee guided development of the watershed management plan and made all the decisions with regards to the focus of the plan. The steering committee is focused on cost-share program development and implementation. This committee determines funding targets and guides all implementation efforts associated with this project.

Improvement Goals

  1. Reduce nutrient inputs to create more natural levels in the Wabash River and its tributaries.

  2. Reduce sediment inputs from surfaces and streambanks thereby increasing transparency of water in the Wabash River and its tributaries.

  3. Reduce pathogen concentrations during storm flow so that the Wabash River and its tributaries to meet state standards.

  4. Improve instream habitat creating conditions suitable for fish and bugs living in the Wabash River and its tributaries.

  5. Enhance natural areas adjacent to the Wabash River and throughout the drainage improving conditions for terrestrial and aquatic plants and animals and reducing the spread of exotic invasive species.

  6. Increase individual's awareness levels and knowledge about water quality, the Wabash River, and its drainage equipping them with tools necessary to improve the quality of the Wabash River.

  7. Increase accessibility to the Wabash River.

Meeting Our Goals

To meet the improvement goals, WREC and our partners focus on three main areas:

  1. Use agricultural and urban practices to reduce sediment, nutrient and pathogen levels and improve instream habitat within the Wabash River and its tributaries. Visit the cost-share page for details about opportunities to address water quality concerns.

  2. Develop and implement an education and outreach program focused on water quality, the watershed and landowner education. Visit Get Your Feet Wet to see how you can participate in education and outreach activities.

  3. Improve continuity and connectivity of natural areas and communities adjacent to the Wabash River and its watershed.

Planning Documents

Region of the Great Bend of the Wabash River brochure (general information, how to get involved)

Region of the Great Bend of the Wabash River hand out (final recommendations, program overview)

Region of the Great Bend of the Wabash River Watershed Management Plan, Wabash River Enhancement Corporation, 2011.

Part 1       Part 2     Part 3

Final Report - Implementation Phase I

Final Report- Implementation Phase I part 2