To preserve, protect & enhance the White River of Indiana

Cleanup volunteers

Cleanup volunteers

Proposed tree clearing along White River

Portions of the tree-lined banks of White River from the Westfield Boulevard bridge to the Kessler Avenue bridge will be cleared of many of the mature hardwood species that provide some of the best wildlife habitat in the city, under a plan proposed by the Indianapolis Department of Public Works and the U.S Army Corps of Engineers.

The work is part of the much-debated flood control measures for the city’s northside but is much more extensive in terms of clearing large numbers of trees than was the case with an earlier part of the city/federal project below the Kessler Avenue bridge. Concerns about the project include removing trees and vegetation in some areas along the east-bank levee all the way to the waterline. Questions are also being raised on exactly what is needed to meet FEMA requirements for revising flood insurance coverage maps for the Broad Ripple Village and Warfleigh neighborhoods, and which areas will actually benefit.

An opportunity to ask questions and learn more is set for Thursday, December 11, at 5 p.m. when the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Water conducts a public hearing at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 6050 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis. Topics under discussion will be limited. If the permit is approved under limited and very specific state guidelines governing it, work will begin almost immediately.

Friends of White River will be represented at the session, and encourages anyone interested in the river and how we use and treat it as a resource to attend this important meeting! Public input in the past in this area was a key factor in determining the approach to levee restoration work.

trees to be cut down

City and Corps plan would remove mature trees along more than two miles of high-quality riparian habitat.


Mounds Dam

Friends of the White River oppose the proposed Mounds/Anderson Dam.

We consider the loss of a free flowing stream near our area to be a huge cost to pay for a reservoir with unknown/questionable water quality. Fishing and recreational opportunities will degrade. As the river exists now, there are fine canoeing and kayaking opportunities. Our White River is presently teeming with small mouth bass and other game fish, and many people enjoy fishing there.

Agricultural and residential run off make this a poor solution to store water for urban uses. Unknown and non-verifiable industrial dumps located in the area will further degrade water quality. Citizens Water has studied future needs for Indianapolis, and announced that present sources and strategies will stand in good stead for at least the next 25 years. Evaporative losses of a reservoir with such a large surface area also negatively impact feasibility.

We believe the dam will provide little flood control benefit to Indianapolis. Much of our natural flow presently comes from streams that are downstream of the proposed dam site.

Board of Directors, Friends of the White River, May 21, 2014