Vegetation on Rivers STILL being removed after protections are afforded in bipartisan bill

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.

Sincerely,

Abigail Frost-King
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

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

Professional lawn application company refueling for another busy day

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

Most professional lawn fertilizer applications contain phosphorous and nutrients that are contributing to a decline in water quality

August 2014, Lake Avenue Doctor Offices current practice of chemical applications for landscape

Lake Avenue Doctor Offices current practice of chemical applications for landscape

PLEASE READ THE DIRECTIONS and ONLY USE IN EXTREMELY NECESSARY AREAS

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

August 2014 – when it rains, the runoff from commercial applications from lawns harm water quality

 

 

 

 

Rodeo being applied to the streams next to the Maumee River in New Haven

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

August 2014 – business owner on State Street spraying in front of his building

Herbicide being applied all over the Upper Maumee River

July 2014 – Herbicide being applied directly next to stormsewers and concrete in Fort Wayne, IN

 

 

 

Levee next to the Maumee River in Fort Wayne

July 2014: This is what Rodeo Herbicide does to plants….

Chemical applications containers come in many shapes and sizes.

Chemical applications containers come in many shapes and sizes.

Fort Wayne Indiana contributes to water quality all the way to the Great Lakes

2014 July: Rodeo Herbicide being applied to any “unwanted plants” growing next to Washington Blvd. in Fort Wayne, IN

 

confluence, levee, vegetation_removal, Fort_Wayne_rivers

2014 October “Only the dead trees are now being removed.”

vegetation_removal_levee, fort_wayne_confluence

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.

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

How vegetation helps water quality

Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill

Fort Wayne Rivers and riparian areas

 

alternative to all rock for stabilization technique

Edgwater Blvd. Levee in Fort Wayne, IN – THIS was the alternative to all rip-rap

Fort Wayne, IN has 10.5 miles of levees

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

rip-rapped levees in Fort Wayne

another example of rip-rap in Fort Wayne – the lack of trees and grasses move water faster downstream – 2013

Niagara Drive Levee in Fort Wayne, Indiana

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

Fort Wayne Edgewater Blvd. levee

2013 – the alternative to rip-rap

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maumee River algae contributes to Lake Erie problems

stagnant water algae growth 2013

pulling out plants on the Maumee Riverbanks

“weed-whacking” is a MUCH better alternative to vegetation spraying

Spring 2013 – alternative to rip rap

rip-rap 2013

Edgewater Levee

 

 

Fall 2013

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 via concrete & stormsewers

Ultimately what is not absorbed by plants, runs-off into local streams…

...and nearer to our children and their natural resources

…and nearer to our children and their natural resources

 

...nearer to those delicate things that need protection the most.

…nearer to those delicate things that need protection the most.