INDIANA – Twenty-one Indiana counties will receive funds to use to improve local water bodies, thanks to $1,450,800 in grants awarded by Department of Natural Resource Director Dan Bortner through the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program including the Beanblossom Tributary in Monroe County.
The grants will fund projects on four lakes and 22 rivers and streams in 21 counties. Funded projects must be completed within a two-year timeframe.
Most of the projects aim to improve water quality by addressing sediment and nutrient inputs into lakes and streams. Improved water quality helps to ensure continued viability for fish and wildlife as well as improve recreational opportunities in Indiana.
Four new watershed land treatment projects provide cost-share and incentive payments to local farmers to implement practices that reduce sediment and nutrient loss. Eligible practices include filter strips, pollinator plots, fencing, and grassed waterways, among others. Watershed land treatment projects require local knowledge and relationships with producers and therefore are only awarded to Soil & Water Conservation Districts.
LARE grants are funded through the annual LARE fee paid by boat owners when they register their watercraft with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This user-funded program benefits boaters all over the state. The grants allow for the completion of projects that would be difficult for local organizations to fund on their own. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis, and local sponsors share a portion of the cost.