The work of CLTLC is guided by 3 focus areas: water quality enhancement, natural areas preservation, and environmental education.
Our efforts in program planning and project completion aim to enhance water quality, protect important natural areas, and educate and inspire the community in ways they can help keep our cherished corner of the state healthy, vibrant, and natural!
Watershed Diagnostic Study
The identification and prioritization of watershed improvement projects to improve the water flowing over, under and through the landscape is the intended outcome of the Watershed Diagnostic Study.
Working with Ecosystems Connections Institute, we are in the 3rd year of a multi-year water quality sampling project. Those large, blue boxes you see around the lake are Gage Stations that can grab water samples automatically at set time intervals for later analysis.
Check our blog for ongoing updates and results. Here>>
Aquatic Vegetation Management Plan
This project started with a flight in Bill Geiger's plane in the summer of 2020.
Residents and visitors were noticing an increase in aquatic plants. Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) was identified as the major invasive plant crowding the lake! The first lake-wide treatment was completed in June 2022.
Learn about what we've done and plan to do to fight the invasive watermilfoil and ways you can help us FOIL the Eurasian watermilfoil! Regular project updates are shared here>>
The Knee-high Naturalist program, presented annually in the month of July, consists of four 1.5-hour workshops on environmental topics such as wildflowers, trees, invasive species, fish, and watershed awareness.
Children of all ages are welcome with an adult chaperone. The goal is to increase awareness about our natural environment and to educate and inspire the children to serve as Knee-high Naturalists in their backyards, on the playground, and in their communities. We provide real examples of how they can make a positive impact on our environment.
Community Education Programs
The Conservancy hosts speakers, workshops, and events that provide educational opportunities for the community to learn about our natural resources and ways we can protect and enhance them. Check our events page for our upcoming offerings.
Conservancy education programs reached over 1,100 people in 2022. Want to learn more on-line? Our Blue Papers are great resources for learning about conservation topics.
Clean Stream Project
The Settlers Wetland Nature Preserve is located along the Cyrus Brouse Ditch. This area was identified in a 1993 Watershed Study completed by Cardno, formerly JFNew, as a possible site for a wetland installation.
Working with the County Surveyor's office, the project constructed a two-stage ditch on the west bank of the Cyrus Brouse Ditch. The graphic below shows a conventional ditch on the left. The two stage ditch, on the right, creates a bench to allow the water flowing through the ditch during heavy rain events, or high flow, to slow down and spread out. In doing so, the sediments and suspended nutrients like phosphorous or nitrogen have a chance to settle out. Our project is similar to the graphic on the right, but a bench was only constructed on the west side of the ditch. During large rain events the two stage ditch will flow into a constructed wetland. This allows suspended solids to settle out and the up-take of nutrients by water-loving plants. Wetlands—the “kidneys” of our lakes—function to remove pollution from the waters flowing into and through them and ultimately into our lakes.
Funding support for the Clean Stream project has been secured from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Lake & River Enhancement Program, the Clear Lake Fund and Danny & Bill Fund, both held at the Steuben County Community Foundation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, NiSource Foundation and NIPSCO, and an anonymous donor.
Kasota Island Shoreline Protection Project
In 2019 we completed this multi-year and fully-funded project to protect the island shoreline from an alarming erosion rate of 2-4 inches a year.
Key to the project was the installation of a bioengineered seawall around the entire island to slow erosion due to wave action on the lake.
The island is an important space for wildlife and for our community. The sandy beach areas that are exposed each summer remain. The shoreline is now protected with glacial stone. Multiple access points were installed. For more specific details on the work, please view the original project brochure. You can see the history of the project here.
We welcome your help! Join us for the annual Kasota Workday on the 2nd Saturday of June.
- Aquatic Enhancement & Survey
- Blue Heron Ministries
- Clear Lake Association
- Clear Lake Lion’s Club
- Clear Lake Lutheran Church
- Clear Lake Yacht Club
- Ecosystems Connection Institute
- Environmental Education Association of Indiana
- Fremont Public Schools
- Indiana Department of Natural Resources
- Indiana Land Protection Alliance
- Land Trust Alliance
- Moody & Crew Farms
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Northeast Indiana Solid Management District
- St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative
- Steuben County Community Foundation
- Steuben County Lakes Council
- Steuben County Soil & Water Conservation District
- Town of Clear Lake
- U.S Fish & Wildlife Service