The Lake and River Enhancement program will provide $1.19 million in grants for storm water and erosion control projects
The Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife has divided a total of $1.19 million in grants for 27 different storm water and erosion control projects across Indiana through its Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program. The grants will go towards dam removal, slope stabilization, erosion control, wetland restoration and sediment removal projects.
According to the South Bend Tribune, the funding comes from the fees boat owners pay annually to register their boats with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Notable projects include a dam removal project in the city of Elkhart, a slope stabilization project in South Bend and a wetland restoration project in Michigan City.
In South Bend, an approximately 35-ft sandy embankment has eroded nearly 20 ft from Riverside Drive, further eroded by this past February’s river flooding. To combat this challenge, the city will use $45,000 from the grant and $11,250 from the city to complete a feasibility study of solutions. Currently, the city is considering using terraces covered with an erosion control blanket and native vegetation plus rocks at the water’s level to combat the erosion.
In nearby Elkhard, the city will use a $100,000 LARE grant towards the cost of removing a low-head dam on the Elkhart River near the city’s downtown. Engineers anticipate the project will help improve fish health because while fish stocked in Lake Michigan can pass the fish ladder, native species are not strong enough to pass the dam. In addition, the dam removal will open the river up to more paddling and recreational opportunities.