Join our Friends on:
How will planting
ü Siltation/erosion/sedimentation is the #1 pollutant in our watershed. The grasses will help to settle out suspended sediment in the water to help hold down the soil that could be washed away because there is nothing to hold down the barren soil when the water comes rushing down during a rain event.
ü Grasses filtrate sediment by holding water for a longer period of time so the sediment settles to the bottom instead of traveling downstream.
ü Removal of nutrients from the water before it passes downstream.
ü Plants produce enzymes which will absorb and “eat” bacteria
ü Natural removal of chemical pollutants like fertilizers and waste materials removes nitrogen, phosphorous and toxins from surface water.
ü Creating more shade will help to create Dissolved Oxygen that is needed in the water for fish and other wildlife to “breathe.”
ü Floods problems can be alleviated - grassy knolls and trees can capture, store and slowly release water over a longer period of time
ü Protect shorelines through reduction of destructive energy from fast moving/ rising water
ü Alleviate pools of standing, stagnant water so West Nile will not have the opportunity to be passed on in the mosquito or human population
Water quality, stormwater drainage and sewage issues recognize no political boundaries and need regional coordination.” (Plan-It-Allen, 2007)
The Upper - Maumee River Crosses:
2 State Boundaries
Save Maumee Appreciates the work of:
Camp Scott Wetlands - 3615 Oxford St. Fort Wayne, IN – helping settle out sediment and pollution to the Maumee! See article here.
Wetlands Project - Always protecting your water &
having cool events!
Earth Scouts Charter - Coming to Fort Wayne SOON! - encourages youth to participate on EARTH!
National Green Build Association – NE Indiana chapter (but please don't use coal-ash in concrete=counterproductive)
Hoosier ReLeaf - Tree Bank that invests in urban forests.
Citizens Action Coalition (CAC works on coal related issues for the consumer)
A Greener Indiana (Indiana social networking and activist site)
Green Drinks Fort Wayne (Green conversations for greenies)
Hoosier Environmental Council (HEC = legislative change in Indiana)
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB plants trees, and many other green activities in Indy, galvanizing the volunteer efforts of tens of thousands)
Indiana Recycling Coalition (IRC pushes recycling initiatives, state-wide)
Indiana CAFO Watch (Contained Animal Feeding Operations Related)
Valley Watch (southern Indiana's enviro-watchdog)
Sustainable Indiana 2016 (‘cuz we all need to learn how)
Green Piece Indy (Green tips/Indy oriented)
Woods Land & Lakes - Resource Conservation & Development
Save My Oceans Tour: because dirty rivers and land make dirty oceans
River Books & Programs: + maps and Indiana River Discoveries you missed!
The Carbon Footprint of Water - Report May 2009 - 54 pages
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, dedicated citizens can change the
Fort Wayne, Maumee Headwaters
Highlights are used in cited Save
Glossary of words for your ease
National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Permits (NPDES), are legal permits to discharge pollutants from industry straight piped into waterways. A "major permit" allows over one-million gallons of water per day.
Toxic Release Inventories (TRI) –
Federal estimates of pollution that are not for developing permits – each state
has different measurement standards. (IDEM, Pigott) Toxic Release Inventory
$413 = Average
annual water bill for an American family in 2008 - Up from $282 in 1998 (Fortune
Save Maumee Grassroots Organization believes that protection of our rivers and its tributaries is crucial to economic growth and health of our citizens and those downstream. The headwaters of the Maumee River is in Fort Wayne, Indiana and is the largest and longest contributing stream to the Great Lakes in the USA. Up to 80% of a streams water quality is inherited at its headwaters. We encourage non-point source pollution to continue to be identified because the sources appear to be significant. Non-point source is also able to be controlled by limiting or eliminating high nitrogen and phosphorous applications of fertilizer and raising awareness of other contributing factors at your home. Picking up your animal waste, washing cleansers & grease down drains, planting a raingarden, conserving water where you can are all examples of how to improve our problems!
Medications are getting into our waterways through the excretion of several medicines from human waste. The Combined Sewer Discharges are discharging pharmaceuticals from the sanitary sewers into our waterways. Researchers find trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in Indiana waterways. Ball State University Research
EPA lists Impairments: Maumee River Area of Concern:
Synopsis - an investment strategy for the western Lake Erie Basin – lots of
information here from the
Army Core of Engineers and costs for projects that are in the works but not
approved DRAFT out in May 2009
#1 for ALL TOXIC RELEASES – 27,298,889 lbs
national news after IDEM granted a NPDES permit to BP’s Whiting refinery
that would allow the plant to discharge 1,584 pounds of ammonia and 4,925 pounds
of suspended solids daily into Lake Michigan. The Chicago Tribune
reported that the permit also allows BP to continue adding 2 pounds of the
potent neurotoxin mercury to Lake Michigan until 2012. “Dump environmental
commissioner, not toxins.”
The Bloomington Alternative, Thomas P. Heal August 1, 2007
of $24 billion dollars to the Great Lakes watershed would yield $50 billion in
net gain coming from increases in tourism, the fishing industry, recreational
activity, and home values. An additional $30 - $50 billion in short-term
economic activity would stem from the comprehensive clean-up of the Great Lakes
. The long-term environmental benefits of restoring the Great Lakes
discharge would increase the level of a pollutant already in the water to the
degree it poses a potentially “detrimental effect.” 2008) “Indiana
water rules still do not protect Lake Michigan” - Great Lakes United,
Lakes together account for 90% of the fresh water in the U.S. and
directly impacts the lives of roughly 35 million people. An
investment of 25 billion will stand to gain 50 billion in long-term economic
Waters, Strong Economy: The Benefits of Restoring the Great Lakes Ecosystem".
By John C. Austin, Soren Anderson, Paul N. Courant, Robert E. Litan, Sept 2007
In 1977, The Clean Water Act was enacted by Congress to "restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's waters." For 25 years, the Clean Water Act (CWA) allowed for the granting of permits to waterways and tributaries that have degraded Indiana water quality. The status-quo grants “a great deal of discretion to the regulated community to set their own standards and to self-monitor.” So the NRC is calling for “radical changes.” “URBAN STORMWATER MANAGEMENT IN THE UNITED STATES”, Committee on Reducing Stormwater Discharge Contributions to Water Pollution, Water Science and Technology Board, Division on Earth and Life Studies, NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES, THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS October 15, 2008 http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12465&page=47#top
Washington, D.C. Major disagreements between the permit writers and environmentalists involve whether certain pollutants should have specific discharge limits in wastewater permits [NPDES]…NOT having such limits violates the Clean Water Act, which as a federal law overrides state law. (NRDC Midwest, Ann Alexander) “Environmental groups say Gary Works draft permit still comes up short."
If you want to look
at the text of the
Clean Water Act
(long but lists the sections and helps to make the program-related IDEM terms
Where Indiana is working on anti-deg rules - scroll to the bottom of that page, under title- information can be found under "Anti-degradation Notices and Comments" and click on the 1st link (#08-764 Anti-degradation 2nd Notice of Comment Period).
Coal's Contribution to
Indiana burns coal to generate 96% of its energy. –
fossil fuels, primarily coal, accounts for nearly half of mercury air emissions
caused by human activity in the United States, and those emissions
are a significant contributor to mercury in water bodies. From 1990
through 2005, emissions of mercury into the air decreased by 58 percent. Yet,
fish in 48.8 percent of the sampled lakes had mercury tissue concentrations that
exceeded the 300 ppb human health screening values for mercury - a total of
Dioxins and furans
were detected in 81 percent of the predator fish tissue and 99 percent of the
bottom-dweller fish tissue tested. Forty-three of the 268 target chemicals
were not detected in any samples, including all nine organophosphate pesticides,
such as chlorpyriphos and diazinon, one PCB congener (PCB-161), and 16 of the 17
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons analyzed as semivolatile organic chemicals.
There were also 17 other semi-volatile organic chemicals that were not detected.
(Environment News Service, Accessed 11/11/09)
People living near some power plant landfills faced a cancer risk 2,000 times higher than federal health standards. (EPA, 2007) “New York Times Realizes ‘Clean Coal’ is a lie.” First posted on NY Times October 13, 2009.
Mercury, Selenium, Arsenic…that’s what coal-fired energy produces…
arsenic enter wastewater from scrubbers and ash ponds and other metals like
mercury are also released from burning coal. Toxins are being released
from coal into the air and landing in our waters.
Environmental Health News
Gibson Generating Station in Indiana had to close fishing at Gibson Lake, one of the worlds largest coal-fired power plants to store wastewater. Gibson Generating Station in Indiana, has attracted birds and fisherman to its shore for years. The lake was closed due to high selenium concentrations in the fish and were deemed unsafe to eat. (Great Lakes Echo, Dec. 2009)
Fish Contamination advisories are being issued on Indiana rivers, streams and
lakes are for PCB’s and mercury. (Fish
Consumption Risk Assessment, IDEM 2006)
More than 800 waterways are classified as impaired and fail to comply with water quality standards for mercury and PCB’s from industrial pollution, E. coli bacteria from animal and human waste, algae, and nutrients. (Dr. Rae Schnapp, Hoosier Environmental Council)
Indiana is the 16th highest in the U.S. for the number of people
exposed to tap water with contaminants above acceptable limits, out of 42 states
studied (National Tap Water Quality Database, 2005)
Lead Action Network - Information about birth defects and problems related to lead
The EPA limits certain pollutant discharges. When a limit is not listed, it is up to the permit writer to decide whether the pollutant discharge will “cause, have a reasonable potential to cause or contribute” to exceeding state water quality standards. A permit writer is not required to develop a case-by-case limit for each pollutant, (Enesta Jones EPA Spokesperson, Dec. ’09) “Environmental groups say Gary Works draft permit still comes up short”
Only 91 contaminants are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act, yet more than
60,000 chemicals are used within the United States.
Atrazine may be dangerous at lower concentrations than previously thought. Recent studies suggest that, even at concentrations meeting current federal standards, the chemical may be associated with birth defects, low birth weights and menstrual problems. That Tap Water Is Legal but May Be Unhealthy By Charles Duhigg December 17, 2009 New York Times Toxic Water Series
There are no federal or state standards or monitoring requirements for the vast majority of pharmaceuticals in drinking water or waste water. While the health effects of these contaminants at medical doses are relatively well-known, their ecological and public health impacts, especially their side, cumulative, and synergistic effects at lower doses are largely unknown and cannot be dismissed. Pharmaceuticals by their very nature are designed to be biologically active and scientific studies indicate that these chemicals are already harming a wide array of wildlife. “PHARMACEUTICALS IN DRINKING WATER”, Testimony of David Pringle Campaign Director, New Jersey Environmental Federation and Clean Water Action Before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Subcommittee on Transportation Safety, Infrastructure Security and Water Quality (“Pharmaceuticals in the Nation’s Water: Assessing Potential Risks and Actions to Address the Issue” April 15, 2008 p. 2- 3).
A vast array of pharmaceuticals have been found in drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans and is showing alarming effects on human cells and wildlife – situations is undoubtedly worse than suggested. (“Drugs Found in Drinking Water”, AP Investigation, USA TODAY 9/12/08).
The federal government does not require any testing and hasn’t set safety limits
for drugs in water – some providers screen only for 1-2 pharmaceuticals but may
be others present. Adding chlorine makes some pharmaceuticals more toxic.
Found In U.S. Drinking Water: Experts Not Sure Of Effects Of Years Of Low Doses”,
ABC-WISN March 10, 2008
At least 271 million pounds of pharmaceutical-like compounds have been released
into the nation's waterways over the last two decades
In the past five years, companies and workplaces have violated pollution laws more than 500,000 times. But most polluters have escaped punishment. Clean Water Laws Are Neglected, at a Cost in Suffering By CHARLES DUHIGG September 13, 2009 New York Times Toxic Waters Series
Farm waste, the biggest polluter of American rivers, is largely unregulated by many of the laws designed to prevent pollution and protect drinking water. Health Ills Abound as Farm Runoff Fouls Wells By CHARLES DUHIGG September 18, 2009 New York Times Toxic Waters Series
Many sewer systems are overwhelmed, spilling excrement, medical waste and chemicals into waterways. As Sewers Fill, Waste Poisons Waterways By CHARLES DUHIGG November 23, 2009 New York Times Toxic Waters Series
More than 20 percent of water treatment systems have violated key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Millions in U.S. Drink Dirty Water, Records Show By CHARLES DUHIGG December 8, 2009 New York Times Toxic Waters Series
federal law regulating tap water is so out of date that the water Americans
drink, pose what scientists say, have serious health risks – and still be legal.
The federal law regulating tap water is so out of date that the water Americans
drink can pose serious health risks. That Tap Water Is Legal but May Be
Unhealthy By CHARLES DUHIGG December 17, 2009 New York Times Toxic Water
Suggestions for Improvements
Reforestation of floodplain, wetlands, shoreline habitat, preservation, planting
grass in farm field buffer strips should be tried
Disclaimer – If you print out a copy of anything on this site you should update a printed copy from time to time to ensure that you are using the most current version (Don’t forget to recycle old articles, or give them to someone else to read!) Save Maumee uses every reasonable care to keep ALL information accurate. ALL Save Maumee Activists are VOLUNTEERS. Information is reported to you, filtered through our education, research and world views, but we are not responsible for any errors or omissions. We want to make this information readily accessible to the public so all of us can retain the information, to make the precise decisions to benefit: human beings, flora, fauna, air, earth and of course water. We want the information to be supported, clear and to the point, easy to read and warnings heeded.
Highlighted information sources are cited are in Save Maumee
printed publications in 2010.