The Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) has identified three of Indiana’s cleanest rivers: Sugar Creek, the Tippecanoe and the East Fork of the White River. These pristine waters are popular destinations for fishing, canoeing and recreation and provide a stark contrast to the list of polluted waters ELPC released recently.
“These rivers are examples of how clean water creates recreational jobs and businesses and improves the quality of life in Indiana,” said Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “Indiana officials should work to ensure all our rivers are this clean.”
A news release from ELPC said Indiana’s weak state policies and lax enforcement have allowed many of the state’s rivers and lakes to become fouled by algae blooms, toxins, sedimentation and dangerous pathogens, but the work of landowners, clean water advocates and some public agencies has helped protect these valuable waterways and the businesses that depend on them.
ELPC explains the value of Indiana’s clean rivers through the stories of people who depend on them like Jason Seward, owner of Clement’s Canoes on Sugar Creek, and Tom Todd, a fishing guide who works on the East Fork of the White River. These stories, as well as video and professional photos are available at www.INourwater.org.
The website www.inourwater.com gives Indiana residents the tools to tell their own stories about water and take action to clean up waterway across the state. ELPC is working to increase awareness of the pollution issues facing Indiana and engage the public in calling for solutions.
Following is information about the three waterways:
Sugar Creek is home to a rare variety of fish and wildlife, including bald eagles, blue herons and over 70 species of fish. Indiana’s Health Rivers INitiative will protect 43,000 acres of land along this ecologically critical waterway. Jason Seward is one of the people that depend on the water quality in Sugar Creek for a living. Seward owns Clements Canoe and Outdoor Center, one of several canoe liveries on Sugar Creek.
The Tippecanoe River meanders through Northern Indiana for 225 miles before emptying into the Wabash River. Biologists consider the Tippecanoe a bench mark for what healthy rivers in the region should look like today. Tom Denham’s family has benefited from the clean waters of the Tippecanoe since the 1930s, when they bought land along the river near Winamac and began renting out cabins. Over the years, Denham has seen water quality improve and wildlife thrive on the river.
East Fork of the White River
The fishing on the East Fork of the White River is good enough to attract customers from as far away as New York and Hawaii and to keep fishing guide Tom Todd busy throughout the season.
Todd works on a meandering stretch of the East Fork between Lawrenceport and Hindostan Falls. Todd’s business depends on good water quality, and he says the East Fork is cleaner today than it’s been in the past.