Again this year, Hoosiers will take part in monitoring the health of local rivers or streams. The DNR will spend federal funds bestowed to help the Hoosier Riverwatch program in Indiana provide the necessary equipment.
“It’s a little more sophisticated than sticking your finger in the river,” said Lyn Crighton of Hoosier Riverwatch. “Helping determine water quality in Hoosier lakes and streams takes some fancy equipment.”
Nonprofit organizations, public agencies, environmental groups, and schools are among those eligible for equipment. Since 1996, nearly 600 volunteer groups have received equipment and have started monitoring local waterways.
The equipment packages include chemical testing kits, nets for collecting aquatic life, and manuals for water quality monitoring. Recipients are required to attend a free training workshop sponsored by DNR’s Riverwatch.
To request an equipment application, contact Diane Day at the DNR Natural Resources Education Center at dday@dnr.IN.gov or 317-562-1338. Applications and a schedule of training workshops are also available on the DNR Web site at www.riverwatch.IN.gov
The equipment packages, funded by the Sport Fish Restoration Program, will help many schools, parks, and other interested groups throughout the state establish river stewardship and watershed monitoring programs.
The DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife has sponsored the Hoosier Riverwatch program for 10 years. It is a statewide education and community action program that focuses on local river and stream stewardship. Staff has trained 4,380 volunteers in water monitoring since 1996, and more than 600,000 have participated in water monitoring and stewardship activities.
Hoosier Riverwatch hosts more than 50 free training workshops in water quality monitoring methods statewide each year. Visit www.Riverwatch.in.gov to view the training calendar and to download the equipment application.
Applications for equipment packages must be sent to Hoosier Riverwatch by March 15, 2006.
The Indiana DNR Lake Michigan Coastal Program (LMCP) unveiled a new poster, Ecosystems of the Indiana Coastal Region, January 13 at the Indiana Dunes State Park Nature Center. Free copies of the poster are now available.
“It’s a wonderful education and outreach tool, perfect for educators of all kinds,” said Mike Molnar, head of the LMCP. “This captivating piece is illustrated in watercolors and captures the true natural beauty and diversity of the coastal region.”
The watercolor illustrates the various types of ecosystems in the Lake Michigan area, including prairie, forest, marsh, bog/fen, savanna, swamp, dune/swale, river and dunes. Each ecosystem has its own illustration, along with remarkable plants in the area.
The LMCP commissioned Barb Labus to develop and illustrate the poster. A Hoosier artist, Labus holds a masters degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
The poster is available free of charge at a variety of locations. Sites include the Indiana Dunes State Park Nature Center, the LMCP Dunes Annex Office at Indiana Dunes State Park, the DNR Michigan City office, and the DNR Customer Service Center in Indianapolis. The DNR will offer leftover posters at the Indiana State Fair in August, although the supply is limited.
Both posters and shipping are free for any education professional requesting a poster from the DNR Customer Service Center. A small shipping fee will apply to all other requests. Contact the Customer Service Center at 317-232-4200.
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