Department of Natural Resources grants totaling more than $850,000 will fund removal of sediment and logjams from Indiana’s lakes and rivers.
Four grants were awarded to LaGrange County, totaling $189,040.
The grants were awarded by DNR Director Rob Carter and are provided through the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program in the DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife.
The 17 projects involve 11 lakes and seven waterways in 10 counties.
Projects awarded grants in LaGrange County were: Little Turkey Lake, $95,000 for sediment removal; Pigeon River, $37,500 for logjam removal; Stone and Brokesha lakes, $53,480 for sediment removal; and Wall Lake, $3,060 for sediment removal.
Projects were selected from a number of applications submitted by local sponsors who commit to sharing a portion of the cost. DNR's portion comes from the LARE fee paid annually by boat owners to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The grants allow for the completion of projects that would be difficult for local organizations to fund on their own and are in addition to grants for addressing invasive aquatic vegetation announced earlier this year.
“These projects aim to achieve dual goals of enhancing public access to selected Indiana waterways and lakes while improving aquatic habitat, and we are pleased to partner with several new sponsors in these projects,” said Mark Reiter, director of DNR Fish and Wildlife.
The sediment removal grants will increase public access to lakes through selective dredging. The proposed logjam removal projects should reduce the threat of undercutting of roads or structures by streams diverted due to the logjams. The resultant clearing should provide better access for boats, kayaks and canoes.
“The challenge in both of these types of projects is to undertake them in a manner that ultimately improves the aquatic habitat for fish, amphibians and mussels,” said LARE Program Manager Greg Biberdorf.
LARE-granted projects have been implemented for more than 25 years in Indiana, but logjam removal was added by the legislature in 2011