The Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation (WACF) was presented with a grant from the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation. The funds provided are in the form of a matching grant and will be used to further the WINS study, a robust initiative to provide a comprehensive analysis of the nutrient and sediment loads within the Wawasee Watershed. The awarded grant was funded through Northeast Indiana Conservation Partnerships & Preservation and totals $150,000. This donation covers approximately one-third of the needed funds to complete the three-year study.
“WACF is a forward-thinking organization working hard to make a positive impact on the natural resources in their community,” stated Jody Kress, Executive Director, Indiana Natural Resources Foundation. “We believe supporting this groundbreaking study is in line with our mission of celebrating and preserving Indiana’s natural legacy and we hope that the community will stand beside us with matching funds.”
The WINS study was designed by Beth Morris and Joan Szynal, MD, WACF Board Members, under the direction of Dr. Jerry Sweeten, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies at Manchester University and President of ECI. This landmark study will provide scientifically derived water quality data for each Lake Wawasee tributary and prioritize allocation of targeted restoration resources.
“We are excited to have the Natural Resources Foundation as a partner in this important study,” shared Doug Yoder, WACF Board Chair. “Their investment is the first step in ensuring we have scientifically sound data and analysis that we can use to make a real difference. It also allows us to continue our collaboration with Dr. Sweeten and his exemplary team. There is no doubt that the outcome from this research will protect and preserve our watershed for generations to come.”
The testing began in the spring of 2019 with over 2,000 samples planned to be analyzed each year. WACF will be sharing initial findings at their Annual Lake Celebration & Brunch on Saturday, July 27that 10:30 a.m. The event is free to the community and all are welcome. To learn more about this landmark study, visit www.WACF.com/water-quality/inlets-nutrient-study.