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Heston-Ctock Ditch Heaedwaters Watershed Management Plan Released

December 6, 2011
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12/07/11 The final draft of the Heston-Stock Ditch Headwaters Watershed Management Plan has been posted on the Michiana Area Council of Governments website at www.macog.com, Environmental Planning, Heston Stock Ditch grant.  A printed copy is available at the St. Joseph County Library, Lakeville Branch. 

The Plan is the culmination of a year-long land use inventory and water quality monitoring program to identify sources of impairments in the Watershed, and develop a strategy that will reach the ultimate goal of improving, preserving and protecting the Watershed for all its stakeholders.  Water quality monitoring identified elevated levels of total suspended solids usually associated with soil erosion, nitrates associated with fertilizers and manure applications, phosphorus associated with fertilizers and soil erosion, and E. coli a bacteria normally present in the intestines of war blooded animals and associated with manure or sewage discharge to lakes, rivers and streams. 

The Heston-Stock Ditch Headwaters is located in Union Township, St. Joseph County and North Township, Marshall County and includes the Pleasant and Riddles Lakes Network as well as Shidler, Lehman and John Kline Ditches. 

The Watershed Management Plan identified problems in the Watershed, critical areas tht currently have an impact on water quality, and solution to achieving the goals of meeting current Indiana water quality standards or target limits for a number of pollutants.  The plan also identifies those partners or target audiences that can plan a major role in meeting the goals. 

Stakeholders in the Heston-Stock Ditch Headwaters Watershed are encouraged to review the Plan and participate in future activities that will further the achievement of goals set forth.  Questions related to the Plan can be directed to Karen Mackowiak, Michiana Area Council of Governments, kmackowiak@macog.com or 574-287-1829.  MACOG is also seeking volunteers to sit on the newly formed Heston-Stock Ditch Task Force and stakeholders interested in being trained to conduct water quality monitoring throughout the watershed.

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