Press release from Hillsdale Water Quality Project
Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy Planning to Take Place in Pottawatomie Creek and Marais des Cygnes Watersheds


The Kansas Department of Health and Environment recently awarded Lake Region Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) a $65,000 grant to complete a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS). The grant’s focus area includes two small sub watersheds: a portion of the Marais des Cygnes and Pottawatomie Creek subwatersheds.
Through the grant, Lake Region RC&D and partner Hillsdale Water Quality Project, will complete a water quality nine element WRAPS to meet Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) requirements in high priority areas.
Lake Region RC&D Council Chairman Don Stottlemire said the watershed is in need of this WRAPS and will be a valuable addition.
“We are fortunate to have been awarded this grant, which will provide jobs, opportunity and water quality protection,” Stottlemire said. “The grant is possible through the dedication of Lake Region RC&D, Hillsdale Water Quality Project and numerous volunteers.”
The partners will solicit local input to assist in compiling data and completing an assessment of the targeted area. Focused efforts for the sub watersheds will be on decreasing dissolved oxygen and fecal coliform bacteria levels to meet the TMDLs.
A group of local leaders within this area are being sought to serve on a volunteer committee to provide additional assistance with the nine element WRAPS. The committee members will work with staff and technical advisors to prioritize the needs in the corresponding watersheds and determine feasible alternatives to improve water quality. Public input workshops will be scheduled in Franklin County and Anderson County for the end of 2010.
Hillsdale Water Quality Project Director Gale Salzman said requirements for Clean Water Act grant funding now and in the near future will stem from this WRAPS.
“A nine element WRAPS is similar to a 20-year comprehensive plan completed and updated by governments and municipalities.” Salzman said. “It is a living document and will be updated as needed and reflect changes in the watershed, such as new water quality issues, improvements, development and  other environmental changes that effect water quality in this area.”
“It will also reflect conservation, recreation and best management practice implementation and educational activities to be installed and completed to improve, protect and restore water quality for the designated uses and meet U.S. EPA Requirements,” Salzman said.
Lake Region RC&D’s, a 501c3 volunteer nonprofit organization, mission is to “plan and initiate leadership and education to assist communities to develop local goals and objectives for managing economic growth improving quality of land, water and life.”
Hillsdale Water Quality Project is a non-profit organization working to reduce pollution throughout the watershed by improving public awareness and monitoring water quality in the streams leading to Hillsdale Lake and downstream.
For more information, contact the Lake Region RC&D office at 785-242-2073 or visit their website, www.lakeregionrcd.org; or contact Hillsdale Water Quality Project’s office at 913-829-9414, via email at [email protected] or visit the Project’s website, www.hwqp.org.