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March 8, 2002

Hoosier Riverwatch offers grants for water quality monitoring

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – This year more Hoosiers may be down by the riverside checking out the health of their local river or stream thanks to the Hoosier Riverwatch program which is offering grants to volunteers who would like to be a part of the water quality monitoring program.

Hoosier Riverwatch is sponsored by Purdue University and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources' Division of Soil Conservation. It is a statewide education program that focuses on local river and stream stewardship.

The grants, which are funded by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, will help as many as 50 groups throughout the state establish education and river stewardship programs.

Nonprofit organizations, public agencies, environmental groups and schools are among those eligible for grants. Since 1996, approximately 340 volunteer groups have received equipment and started monitoring local waterways.

The grants provide a package of equipment which includes chemical testing kits, nets for collecting aquatic life and manuals for water quality monitoring. Grant recipients are required to attend a training workshop in volunteer water quality monitoring. Hoosier Riverwatch provides free training workshops throughout the state.

"Education is a big part of the monitoring program funded by Hoosier Riverwatch," said Craig Beyrouty, head of the Purdue Department of Agronomy. "Our staff members have developed many hands-on programs intended to raise public awareness of water quality issues. Interactive educational workshops relate land use with water quality to better inform local citizens about what they can do to keep their rivers and streams clean."

DNR director John R. Goss said, "Hoosier rivers and streams are cleaner today than they have been in years. A contributing factor in the improvement is Hoosier Riverwatch. These local volunteers provide crucial information about the health of Indiana's rivers and streams, and these grants will help start more local monitoring programs and keep the improvements going."

To request a grant application, contact Patti Schmid at the DNR Division of Soil Conservation at (317) 233-3870 or nrec@dnr.state.in.us. Applications also are available on the DNR Web site. Completed applications must be submitted to Hoosier Riverwatch by March 15.

CONTACT: Lyn Hartman, Hoosier Riverwatch coordinator, (317) 541-0617.

Writer: Beth Forbes, (765) 494-2722, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu; http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgComm/public/agnews/

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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