The Mill Creek-Blue River Watershed (MCBR) covers 99,854 acres in the central and south central portion of Washington County. There is approximately 117 miles of creeks in the watershed with water flowing through it and eventually empties into the Ohio River. Water quality and non-point source pollution was a watershed concern and, therefore, a grant was applied for by the Washington County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) to address the concerns.
A watershed management plan (WMP) was developed by a steering committee of local conservation professionals, residents, and landowners. It was approved for MCBR in August 2013 by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). Areas throughout the watershed were determined to be critical for E.coli, high nutrient content, sediment, and more.
The Washington County SWCD was awarded an implementation grant from IDEM to receive $175,000 to provide cost-share to install best management practices (BMPs) in the identified critical areas of MCBR to address water quality concerns to landowners. The program will pay up to 75% of the actual total allowed cost with a $10,000 cap per participant. Reimbursement will follow the installation and approval of the project(s) installed by landowners.
At this time, BMPs available for cost-share through the MCBR project include: access road, animal trails and walkways, composting facility, cover crops, critical area planting, drainage water management, fence, filter strip, forage and biomass planting, grade stabilization, grassed waterway, heavy use protection area, lined waterway, mulching, no-till (equipment modification or pre-emergent chemicals), nutrient management, pipeline, pumping plant, residue management, riparian buffer, roof runoff management, spring development, stream crossing, streambank stabilization, subsurface drainage, tree planting, waste management, waste storage facility, and water facility.