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DNR grants to address sediment and logjams

Six Indiana counties will fix sediment and logjam problems in lakes and rivers thanks to $691,000 in grant funding this spring from the DNR.

In LaGrange County, a grant for $17,600 will go toward removing logjams along the Pigeon River, a program that has already seen improvements done on the river over the past year.

The grants are part of the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program in DNR’s Division of Fish and Wildlife.

The 10 projects selected for the spring 2014 involve seven lakes and four waterways. They were selected in a competitive process from among applications submitted by local sponsors. The grantees must share at least 20 percent of the cost.

LARE grants are funded through an annual fee paid by boat owners to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). These grants allow for the completion of projects that would be difficult for local organizations to fund on their own.

“These projects will enhance public accessibility to selected Indiana waterways and lakes, enhancing recreation potentials for boaters, anglers, paddlers, and others who enjoy Indiana’s lakes and rivers,” said Mark Reiter, director of DNR Fish and Wildlife.

The sediment removal grants will increase public access to lakes through selective dredging of areas heavily used by boaters, including some DNR Public Access Sites, and lake inlets that are a source of sediment to the lakes. The logjam removal projects should reduce the erosion caused by streams diverted by logjams. The clearing will provide better access for boats, kayaks and canoes, and reduce erosion and sedimentation into rivers and creeks.