Sullivan County Park & Lake
2008 LARE Grant
In July, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources - Division of Fish & Wildlife Services announced that it had awarded more than $1 million in grants as part of the DNR's Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program. As one of 26 waterways ncluded in the list to receive funds, Sullivan County Park & Lake will recieve $45,000 to:
- Design a sediment removal and disposal plan
- Develop a nutrient and sediment load reduction plan
- Determine the feasibility of using lake dredge spoil in nearby abandoned mine lands remediation projects
In 1958, the Busseron Conservancy District was established for the purpose of sediment and flood control. Of 26
proposed reservoirs, 19 were actually constructed, including the 468 Acre Sullivan Lake on Morrison Creek in 1968.
The lakes of the Conservancy District were designed with a twenty-five year lifespan. Some 40 years later, most of these reservoirs have filled with sediment, including Sullivan Lake. In addition to sedimentation from the Morrison Creek drainage, the Sullivan Lake has suffered significant bank erosion due to wake action from powerboats.
The SCPL Project
Sediment Removal and Disposal
Dredging is the removal of accumulated lake bottom sediments, or "muck". Before any dredging operation begins, engineering design and data must be completed, including volume calculations for the accumulated sediment. Testing of the sediment's chemical composition is required to determine what - if any - contaminants are present. Disposal sites for dredged materials must be identified, permits obtained, bids let, etc.
It is only after studies, sediment testing, and engineering plans are completed; and after all permits are obtained and contracts let that actual dredging may begin.
Nutrient and Sediment Load Reduction
Not only must removal of sediment be addressed, reduction of sediment and nutrient loads from upstream sources must be reduced. Best Management Practices to reduce soil erosion may include use of stream buffers, no-till farming practices, and use of cover crops. In addition, reduction of nutrient runoff including fertilizers and septic system waste will help decrease unwanted plant and algal growth.
These types of Best Management Practices will improve overall water quality and extend the life of the lake. Similar projects in Iowa have shown an increase of lake lifespan from 25 years to 125 years.
Abandoned Mine Lands Remediation
Removal of dredge spoil can be a significant cost in sediment removal projects. Purchase and trucking of cover material can be a significant cost in remediation of abandoned mine lands projects. A little creative thinking brought two entities together to design an efficent use of "waste" product. If tests prove acceptable, the Indiana DNR will utilize Sullivan Lake dredge for cover in a nearby abandoned mine lands project.
Not only does this partnership make efficient use of funds, it strengthens a local push towards cleaner, safer waters and lands.
Sullivan County Park & Lake
In 2007, the SCPL contracted with Williams Creek Consulting to prepare a LARE grant application. That application was accepted and the grant officially awarded to Sullivan County Park & Lake in the summer of 2008. The SCPL has been instrumental in developing partnerships with regional entities in order to create a synergistic series of projects.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources - Reclamation
Removal of dredge spoil is always a substantial expense in this type of project. Tests will be performed on lake sediment to determine presence and/or levels of heavy metals and other contaminants. If results prove acceptable and staging is feasible, the dredge spoils will be reused in nearby abandoned mine lands (AML) remediation projects. Indiana DNR - Reclamation will oversee that AML project.
Busseron Creek Watershed Partnership
The SCPL & the BCWP will jointly determine how the LARE-funded project and the EPA 319-funded watershed management plan can complement one another and duplication of effort can be prevented. The BCWP has pledged support in development a Nutrient and Sediment Lad reduction plan, including Best Management Practices. In addition, the BCWP will provide assistance in securing water samples and stream quality assessments on Morrison Creek.