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St. Joseph River
Watershed Management Plan
ning Project

For Immediate Release

Contact: Al and Margaret Smith
Friends of the St. Joe River Association

River Organization Completes Watershed Management Plan


Friends of the St. Joe River Association has completed work on a management plan for the St. Joseph River watershed. The management plan, funded by a Clean Water Act Section 319 planning grant administered by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), is the culmination of over 2 years of work by dozens of dedicated volunteers from agencies and organizations from both Indiana and Michigan. The primary purpose of the 319 planning grant is to help local stakeholders identify non point sources of pollution that impair water quality and work collaboratively to formulate strategies to address those sources. With the completion of the management plan, local communities will have information they need to protect and improve water quality. Implementation of the plan depends on the continued interest, enthusiasm, and hard work of local communities and individuals. The plan includes:

  • A description of the watershed (e.g. location, land use, natural history, population, geology, & hydrology)
  • Project background & development
  • Impaired & threatened designated uses
  • Information on pollutants, causes, & sources
  • Goals & objectives for improving water quality
  • Information on critical areas for preservation, urban storm water management, & agricultural storm water management

The plan can be viewed and downloaded at the project web site: www.stjoeriver.net. A limited number of hard copies and CDs are also available. The St. Joseph River watershed spreads out over 15 counties in southwestern Lower Michigan and northwestern Indiana, drains 4,685 square miles, and contains some of the nation's best salmon, trout, walleye, and bass fishing. The St. Joseph River begins at Baw Beese Lake near Hillsdale and flows over 210 miles before emptying out into Lake Michigan at the City of St. Joseph.

Friends of the St. Joe River Association, a nonprofit established in 1994 by Athens, MI residents Al and Margaret Smith for the purpose of cleaning and restoring the river and its tributaries, was awarded the planning grant by the MDEQ in the Fall of 2002. The Friends organization managed the project in its entirety. Kieser & Associates of Kalamazoo, MI served as technical consultants. For further information, please 269-729-5174 or email fotsjr@core.com.

For more information on non point source pollution, visit http://www.epa.gov/owow/nps/. For more information on the St. Joseph River and the watershed management plan project, visit http://www.stjoeriver.net.

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the USEPA under assistance agreement C99754702. The contents of the document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the USEPA, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation for use (40 CFR 30.518 1e).