Project Blog

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  • 23 Feb 2012 9:06 PM | Anonymous

    Today marked the 6th quarterly meeting for the Wetland Partnership project. Click here for a summary of the meeting. Matt Meersman and Geoff Cripe completed what could be called the first official outreach presentation of the Wetland Partnership Project at the Branch County Conservation Expo. Marcy Colclough is still working on fine tuning the Wetland Wonders hand-out which she shared with everyone at the last meeting. The FotSJR winter newsletter focuses on wetlands and this project. The wetland data should be completed by the end of March. Matt has basically started over when looking at the prioritization process. Matt would like to have 5 or 6 volunteers to assist him in processing parcel data in order to have a more meaningful data set for each county. It would include looking at all the parcel data and identifying parcels under common ownership that cannot be automatically merged. Eric Kerney, Geoff Cripe, and Brian Musser volunteered to help Matt with the process. Over the next six months it will probably take 10 – 20 hours per county to complete this process.

    Our next meeting will be held on Thursday, May 24 at 10:15 a.m. in the Three Rivers Public Library.

  • 17 Nov 2011 8:51 PM | Anonymous

    Today marked the 5th quarterly meeting for the Wetland Partnership project. Click here for a summary of the meeting. Matt Meersman, FotSJR Board President and project lead, passed around a map of the watershed showing the progress that has been made in coding the wetland polygons. MDEQ should have all of the polygons coded by the next quarterly meeting in February.

    The fourth quarterly report was sent at the end of September, but no financial report requesting reimbursement was submitted. The next report is due the end of December and an invoice from MDEQ should be included.The next steps will be to get contracts in place between FotSJR and the partners who will be receiving grant funds through the project.

    In terms of Parcel Data Coverage, for most of the watershed it has been easier to acqiire this data then at first suspected.

    Marcy Colclough, Senior Planner with the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission and project lead, passed out what she has started working on relative the Wetland Partnership project Outreach Strategy. It was suggested that perhaps to brochures on wetland restoration should be created for Indiana and Michigan due to varying wetland laws and regulations between the two states.

    Next steps include completeing wetland functional data, prioritization and developing contracts with partner organizations.

    Our next meeting will be held on Thursday, February 23 at 10:15 a.m. in the Three Rivers Public Library.

  • 25 Aug 2011 10:08 PM | Anonymous
    Thank you to everyone who attended our 4th quarterly meeting last month.  Click here for a summary of the meeting.  Several other attachments are also included related to the following items from the meeting:
    • GIS Parcel Data Coverage status map
      • Berrien County - Marcy will make contact, Paw Paw River portion already secured
      • Branch County - Rachel will make contact
      • Calhoun County - Eric Kerney will make contact
      • Cass County - Marcy will make contact
      • DeKalb County - contact needed
      • Elkhart County - Eric Kurtz made contact, data secured
      • Hillsdale County - contact needed
      • Kalamazoo County - contact needed
      • Kosciusko County - Karen Mackowiak made contact, data secured
      • LaGrange County - Dona will make contact
      • Noble County - Karen Mackowiak made contact, pending final approval
      • Saint Joseph County (IN) - Maria made contact, pending final approval
      • Saint Joseph County (MI) - Melanie will make contact
      • Steuben County - Brian Musser made contact, data secured
      • Van Buren County - Matt made contact, Paw Paw River portion already secured Data Sharing/Exchange Agreements
    • Landowner/Municipal Outreach Committees - please contact Marcy Colclough (ColcloughM@swmpc.org) if you can serve or help.
    • Rob Zbiciak's wetland presentation available on Wetland Partnership website (http://www.fotsjr.org/WetlandPartnershipOutreach)
    • An In-Kind Local Match Tracking Sheet is available online, please keep track of your time and mileage related to the project. 
    Please review the list of counties above and let me know if you can help.  Thank you to those of you who have helped secure parcel data for your county! Our next meeting will be held on Thursday, November 17th at 10:15 a.m. in the Three Rivers Public Library.
  • 02 May 2011 8:35 PM | Anonymous

    February 28, 2011 marked the six month anniversary since the beginning of Wetland Parternship Project! Word of this unique project is quickly spreading through the help of the several presentations that have taken place throughout the St. Joseph  River Watershed, including:

    • St. Joseph River Baisn Commission
    • Partnership for MEANDRS
    • Steuben County SWCD Annual Meeting
    • Branch County CD Conservation Expo
    • Southwest District Meeting of the Michigan Association of Drain Commissioners

    Upcoming presentations include:

    • Waverly Township Planning Commission (May 9, 2011)
    • Buchanan Lions Club (May 12, 2011)

    If you would like a Wetland Partnership Project presentation made to your group, or if you know of a group that would benefit from information about the project, email fotsjr.outreach@gmail.com.

  • 28 Apr 2011 8:10 PM | Anonymous

    Today, the Friends of the St. Joe River (FotSJR) hosted the third quarterly meeting for the Wetland Partnership Project. Despite the frequent deluge of April rain, many of the Wetland Partnership Project partners were in attendance. The highlight of the meeting included a discussion led by Matt Meersman on the "Wetland Restoration and Protection Prioritization" non-functional criteria outline. This outline was established to identify area where wetland restoration and protection could have the most significant water quality benefits and are the most practical in terms of key factors. This methodology includes two different categories of criteria, which can be combined or looked at individually. The first category focuses on potential water quality benefits while the second focuses on practicality or ease of restoration or protection. The non-functional criteria will be looked at in addition to each wetlands significance for a variety of functions. While the functional assessment is considered the primary tool for prioritizing, the non-functional piece will allow for further refinement.

    To view the full Wetland Prioritization Outline, click here. NOTE: This is a working DRAFT, and does not represent the FINAL criteria outline. 

    The fourth quarterly meeting is scheduled for August 25, 2011 at 10:15 a.m. at the Three Rivers Public Library.

  • 27 Jan 2011 5:08 PM | Anonymous
    Today, the Friends of the St. Joe River (FotSJR) hosted the second quarterly meeting for the Wetland Partnership Project. Despite the inclimate weather in Three Rivers, Michigan, most of the Wetland Partnership Project partners were in attendance. The highlight of the meeting included a presentation led by Rob Zbiciak of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (MDNRE / MDEQ). Rob's presentation discussed the pre-settlement wetland loss in the St. Joseph River Watershed, and how the Landscape Level Wetland Functional Assessment (LLWFA) will help prioritize wetlands for protection or restoration based on how well those wetlands serve (or served) specific functions (e.g. flood storage, sediment retention, habitat vitality, etc.). The third quarterly meeting is scheduled for April 28, 2011 at 10:15 a.m. at the Three Rivers Public Library
  • 03 Dec 2010 6:26 PM | Anonymous
    The web page is now LIVE for the Wetland Partnership Project. Your comments and feedback are welcome.
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Friends of the St. Joe River Association, Inc.                                                                                                          
P.O. Box 1794
South Bend, Indiana 46634

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