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Blanchard River Watershed discusses Riley Creek

BLANCHARD RIVER WATERSHED PARTNERSHIP MEETING MINUTES
5/19/10

Present: Martin, Benroth, Cresswell, Lehman, Schroeder, and Switzer.Guests: Clarence Bigelow, Don Kimmet

Benroth made a motion; seconded by Lehman to approve the agenda. Motion passed.

Martin presented a power point presentation to provide a brief overview of who we are and what we do and what are our plans for Riley Creek and Little Riley Creek. Our focus is on water quality. Water quality involves non-point source pollution, high flows, muck grounds, and non-regulatory items. The Blanchard River Watershed contains 6 sub-watersheds. This power point can be viewed on our website.

In the Riley Creek subwatershed there are problems with sediment/siltation, nutrients and habitat/flow alterations.

BRWP currently has a website and a Facebook page for others to find out about us.

Bigelow brought to the Partnership's attention that when doing monitoring and the stream walk in the Riley to be careful. It is dangerous in the tennis court area, as there are deep holes.

Kimmet had questions on the organization and Martin. Much discussion followed but it was reiterated that the Partnership is a non-profit volunteer organization concerned with water quality. Our funding is received through various grants and we are not regulated by EPA or any other governmental agency. Martin is the only paid personnel as he is the coordinator and is writing the WAPs.

According to a survey taken in the Findlay area, many people have no idea what a watershed is and that we all live in one. Education seems to be needed. This is an area we can step forward with.

Phosphorous loading was discussed. Erosion greatly enhances this problem. The phosphorous is tightly bound to the soil, so when erosion takes place it ends up in the water.

Dr. Baker at Heidelberg College is one of the leading scientist monitoring watersheds. We are fortunate to have him so close.

Bigelow stated that as responsible citizens, we all need to recycle and reuse so that less ends up in the waste stream.

A source for information and possibly sponsorship would be Husky in Lima. Many years ago, Morris Groman, (lifelong Bluffton resident) worked for Husky's previous owner and was in charge of monitoring the streams in their area and recording the data due to their NPDES permit.

Coordinators Comments

See handout.

1. We received a grant from Environmental Defense for $15,000 and we need to set up a Board meeting to determine how we plan to budget this money. Schroeder made a motion; seconded by Lehman to accept the grant from Environmental Defense and authorize Kozlowski to sign the agreement. Motion passed. Included in the agreement was a line to allow for other activities beneficial to the watershed without specifications. A portion of this could be used for the Riley.
2. We didn't receive the WLEB grant. Most of the funding stayed in the Maumee area. We should find out why we weren't selected so we can improve upon our next grant application.
3. We received a grant in the amount of $3,312.50 from Freshwater Futures. Not only was there funding but they will provide 10 hours of technical service. Our matching share for tech service is $187.50. Schroeder made a motion; seconded by Lehman to accept the grant from Freshwater Futures and authorize Kozlowski to sign the agreement and authorize our share. Motion passed.
4. There is another Freshwater Futures grant application due July 15, 2010. We would like to acquire this one to help in preparing for the Great Lakes Initiative Grant.
5. A list of 2010 Goals was distributed and we were asked to review and brainstorm on creating a plan.

Treasurer's Report
The Treasurer's report was reviewed. It included the activity for April, the balance of departments and grant funds. Creswell made a motion; seconded by Lehman to approve the Treasurer's report. Motion passed.

Martin asked for a breakdown list of departments for 2009 on how we budgeted for the grants. Benroth will email it to him.

Meeting Minutes
An amendment is needed for the Environmental Defense Fund Budget. The last amount of $5,000 received in December for 2009 should not be listed for 2010.

The minutes also state that the Steering Committee approves grants. It should be the Board of Directors.

Lehman made a motion; seconded by Creswell to approve the minutes from 4/21/10 with the above amendments. Motion passed.

Old Business
1. An OEC meeting was held on April 27th at Riverbend. Some of the Board members attended.
Martin was nominated to represent our area. An interesting phenomenon was relayed where all the fertilizer plants in the Sandusky Watershed donate $.25 per ton of fertilizer they sell to support the watershed coordinator. Could this work in our area? This would be a great way to sustain the position. Schroeder will look into it since he's in the business. The WAPs also require some type of sustainability provision to carry out the plan.
2. We have our new display board. Benroth with meet with Martin to decide on what to put on it for the fairs. We have a presence at 4 fairs: Putnam, Hancock, Allen and Hardin. Putnam is the first one. When not at the fairs, it would be great to have the display rotate through each town in the watershed for viewing.

New Business
1. Watershed education needs to be an active program for the Partnership. Over 60% of those
responding to a survey by Findlay did not know if or said no that they didn't live in a watershed.
Many do not know that everyone lives in some watershed and what we do affects those
downstream.
2. Findlay is a phase 4 water pollution control plant and has a storm water management plan and Martin and Kozlowski attends their meetings.
3. It would be wise to contact TV channels 11 & 13 and the area newspapers to provide them with information on BRWP and watersheds to educate people.
4. BRWP needs to find ways to create outreach activities. One way is through Facebook.
5. Schroeder is setting up a cleanup date in the Blanchard in the Ottawa area in June. It will be held on a Saturday morning from 8 to 11 am. with labor provided by the OG football team. He is working with the coach. This should be a great media event. Pictures need to be taken. In future years, maybe we can make a challenge between all the area football teams for a prize going to the one collecting the most trash. Lori Collins who has been hired to remove log jams will be able to assist with disposal.
6. BRWP will be sponsoring a cleanup on Aug. 22, 2010 with the aid of the incoming freshman at the University of Findlay. They have to provide so many hours of community service.
7. Martin submitted a Project Proposal to attend a Decentralization Seminar sponsored by the Sandusky Watershed on June 9th in Tiffin. Decentralization deals with small communities and their failing septic systems and NPDES permits. Schroeder made a motion; seconded by Lehman to allow this expenditure. Motion passed.

Next Meeting will be on June 16, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. Meeting will be held at Owens CC.
Meeting Adjourned.