Hoosier Chapter

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Protecting Indiana's Waters

Sierrans Begin Water Monitoring in Central Indiana

By Dick Miller, Conservation Chair (first published in the Indiana Sierran, Summer 2013)

The EPA recently has found that 55% of river and stream miles in the US are in poor biological health. About half of these impaired waters are a result of excess nutrients: nitrogen and phosphorus. Such nutrients cause algal blooms, which are unsightly and can deplete oxygen in the water when they die and decompose. Lack of oxygen in turn leads to fish kills. If the algae are blue-greens, a further problem is the release of skin irritants and neurotoxins, which can affect humans and pets.

Nutrient pollution is a well-known problem in Indiana, with all of the above effects reported. The state is currently developing nutrient standards, but the process is moving slowly. One way to put pressure on the state to develop strong standards sooner rather than later is for citizens to monitor water quality and let state regulators know when there is a problem.

The Hoosier Chapter is beginning a monitoring program in central Indiana. We are looking for volunteers who will collect and analyze water samples on at least a monthly basis. You may choose one or more sites that you are concerned about, or we can help you find a convenient location. We plan to use Hoosier Riverwatch equipment, and you will need to be trained to do the monitoring at a training workshop. For more information about Hoosier Riverwatch, go to http://www.in.gov/idem/riverwatch/.

If you would like to help monitor the waters of central Indiana, please contact Bowden Quinn by email at bowden.quinn@sierraclub.org or by calling the Hoosier Chapter office at 317-822-3750.

Bringing our waters back

By Bowden Quinn, May 24, 2013, Indiana Living Green
"More than half of our country’s rivers and streams are in poor condition, according to a survey by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency…." [Read more]


Mercury in the water

By Bowden Quinn, November 30, 2012, Indiana Living Green
"The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has found a way to reduce the number of Indiana water bodies impaired by mercury-laden fish. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with removing the mercury…." [Read More]


Lack of response to blue-green algae is deadly

By Bowden Quinn, September 26, 2012, Indiana Living Green
"On July 15 a northern Indiana couple, Marge and Larry Young, took their family’s four dogs to play at the Salamonie Reservoir in Huntington County. Two of the dogs died within 24 hours…" [Read More]


Cherish the White River

By Bowden Quinn,  on August 24, 2012, Indiana Living Green
"Indianapolis is one of the largest cities in the world without a commercial port nearby…." [Read More]


Mercury in fish is a danger to humans

By Bowden Quinn, June 8, 2012, Indiana Living Green
"The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has published its 2012 draft list of Indiana’s polluted waters. It’s a discouraging report…" [Read More]