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Indiana DNR Director Dan Bortner announced that organizations in 23 Indiana counties across the state will receive $864,610 in grants to fund 34 lake and stream projects through the Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) program.

“Indiana’s lakes and streams are a cherished natural resource for all Hoosiers, providing outstanding recreational and fishing opportunities across our state,” said Bortner. “Through Indiana’s LARE program, Hoosiers who get out on the water continue to make a splash in conserving and protecting these waterways, funding more than $20 million in dredging, logjam and aquatic vegetation management projects for Indiana’s lakes and streams over the last two decades. This creates a lasting impact for our state now and for generations to come.”

The grants are funded through the LARE fee paid annually by boat owners when they register their crafts with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This user funded program benefits boaters all over the state. The grants allow for the completion of lake and stream projects that would be difficult for local organizations to fund on their own. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis, and local sponsors share at least 20% of the cost.

Grants totaling $620,500 will support 13 sediment or logjam removal projects in 11 counties. Another $244,110 will be used to support 21 projects in 12 counties to combat aquatic invasive plants across 36 bodies of water.

Funded projects for the planning and removal of sediment and logjams help improve recreational access by removing nutrient-rich sediment and woody debris near inlets or in navigational channels, helping prevent bank erosion and the formation of new channels. These types of projects receive the highest priority for LARE funding, and they are only funded for projects focused on large-quantity debris removal.

Aquatic invasive plant control grants help control or manage aggressive non-native species that can outcompete native species and dominate plant communities. The grants can also provide economic benefits to lake communities by improving conditions for those who fish or boat.

A list of grant recipients and projects by body of water, county, project type and grant award can be found at lare.dnr.IN.gov and clicking on project awards at the top of the page.

Reports on all past LARE-funded projects can be found at larereports.dnr.IN.gov.

To view all DNR news releases, please see dnr.IN.gov.

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