Dear Honorable Senators Coats & Donnelly,
Thank you for helping to pass the Water Resources Reform and Development Act. Our group has been following this Bill since it was introduced over a year ago by Marlin Stutzman. As your constituents, we feel this Act was a great step toward protections and restoration of our local surface water. Well done!
Our group would like someone from your Office to explain the removal of vegetation on levees after the passing of:
H.R. 3080: Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014
Introduced: Sep 11, 2013 (113th Congress, 2013–2015)
Signed by the President on Jun 10, 2014
Issue: July 2014, the vegetation removal continued
The Board of Public Works via Army Corps of Engineers began spraying Rodeo, upon several miles of riprap, along all three of our local rivers. There is another application planned in the Fall. Rodeo is the only DNR approved herbicide for near-water applications to kill all plant life. This is indiscriminate removal of vegetation. Full ACE levee inspections were done throughout Fort Wayne in October 2013! It appears redundant and counterproductive, and most importantly, a waste of tax-payer money.
The Upper Maumee Watershed Management Plan (UMWMP) is currently being reviewed by the Federal EPA. The UMWMP was due to be released to the public on July 31, 2014. This is the first time in history that the the United States EPA will review a watershed management plan, and report directly to you, the Federal Senators of the United States.
As Steering Committee Member and Treasurer of the quasi-government group that created the UMWMP, I am requesting that someone from your Office attend either the UMWMP unveiling.
The UMWMP describes vegetation as being beneficial for habitat, while strengthening shorelines and reducing nutrients & erosion. Please help us to stop indiscriminate vegetation removal along our already impaired waterways in Fort Wayne!
Continue to save our dollars by creating responsible programs that will preserve surface water, not merely appearing to protect water quality for our great State.
Save Maumee Grassroots Organization Vice Chair
Upper Maumee Watershed Partnership Treasurer
Upper Maumee Watershed Management Plan Steering Committee
Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor Environmental Consultant: Region I
Professional lawn applications fueling up for another busy day – August 2014
Most professional lawn fertilizer applications contain phosphorous and nutrients that are contributing to a decline in water quality
Lake Avenue Doctor Offices current practice of chemical applications for landscape
PLEASE READ THE DIRECTIONS and ONLY USE IN EXTREMELY NECESSARY AREAS
August 2014 – when it rains, the runoff from commercial applications from lawns harm water quality
July 2014 -Herbicide being applied directly next to a tributary to the Maumee River, on Main Street in New Haven, Indiana
August 2014 – business owner on State Street spraying in front of his building
July 2014 – Herbicide being applied directly next to stormsewers and concrete in Fort Wayne, IN
July 2014: This is what Rodeo Herbicide does to plants….
Chemical applications containers come in many shapes and sizes.
2014 July: Rodeo Herbicide being applied to any “unwanted plants” growing next to Washington Blvd. in Fort Wayne, IN
2014 October “Only the dead trees are now being removed.”
2013 October: vegetation removal in Fort Wayne, IN
City was to remove “dead trees ONLY.” Pictures were taken at the confluence of the St. Joseph and St. Marys rivers, which create the Maumee River. Taken from Tennessee Bridge facing the water filtration plant in Fort Wayne, Indiana. October 2013
How vegetation helps water quality
Edgwater Blvd. Levee in Fort Wayne, IN – THIS was the alternative to all rip-rap
2012 Rip Rap is simply the large rocks to stabilize the bank once all trees and native landscapes are removed.
Marlin Stutzman speaks to Canada’s Ambassador at the Maumee Valley Heritage Corridor Member Meeting 2012
another example of rip-rap in Fort Wayne – the lack of trees and grasses move water faster downstream – 2013
BEFORE pictures of Niagara Drive levee 2009
Niagara Drive levee spraying in October 2013
River Greenway levee next to the Maumee ~ indiscriminate vegetation removal occurring in 2013
October 2013 rip-rap herbicide spraying of Rodeo
2013 – the alternative to rip-rap
stagnant water algae growth 2013
“weed-whacking” is a MUCH better alternative to vegetation spraying
Spring 2013 – alternative to rip rap
Trees and plants being removed for the rebuilding of the Anthony Bridge, over the Maumee River (Fall 2013)
Ultimately what is not absorbed by plants, runs-off into local streams…
…and nearer to our children and their natural resources
…nearer to those delicate things that need protection the most.