From the Executive Director Doug Fasick
Hello and thank you for your interest in the St. Joseph River watershed!
Our watershed is expansive covering more than 694,000 acres in three states and six counties. Stretching from the headwaters in south central Michigan, through northwest Ohio and ending in Fort Wayne in northeastern Indiana, the St. Joe encompasses crop and pasture lands, woodlands and wetlands, farmsteads, urban areas and rural residences.
The St. Joseph River is the source of drinking water for more than 300,000 people in Fort Wayne, but in addition to being a drinking water source it is important as a habitat, a recreational resource, a drainage channel and a source of economic growth in the region. The Watershed Initiative is committed to protecting water quality in the river while promoting economically and environmentally compatible land uses.
The Initiative is proud to partner with municipal, county and state governments, conservation agencies, land-owners, educational institutions and other entities to further our mission and goals. The Initiative’s three main priorities include maintaining a robust water quality sampling program and making results available through the Water Quality Information System (WQIS); conducting education and outreach activities throughout the watershed; and implementing conservation practices based on watershed management plans. Over the past 20 years, the Initiative has been able to bring more than $3 million in grant funds into the watershed to help further these goals.
In 2017 the Initiative’s Board of Directors and I are committed to continuing efforts in our three main focus areas and to expanding our activities. We hope you will check back often to learn more about the communities in the watershed and to find out how you can participate in the Initiative whether your interest is in our annual Flow the St. Joe canoe/kayak float in August, helping with educational activities or serving on our Board of Directors. We look forward to working with you to protect and improve water quality in the St. Joe River!