conservation

 

This year, Hoosier farmers planted more than one million acres of cover crops, up from virtually none in 2004.

Farmers grow cover crops — like rye, alfalfa, or sorghum — in the winter to protect and enhance soil health. Shannon Zezula, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s state resource conservationist for Indiana, says more farmers are planting them now because they work.

 

Environmentalists around the state are gearing up for the 2017 legislative session, and some will make the case that greater environmental protection is crucial for economic development.

Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council, says one priority is to get increased funding for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Since 2007, state funding for IDEM has been cut by 25 percent. Kharbanda says that means less money for the agency to enforce regulations, monitor pollution or hire personnel.

Judy Palermo/Indianapolis Zoo

Voluntary conservation farming practices are measurably decreasing nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River Basin, and this good news: from the Midwest, all the way down the Mississippi River in the Gulf of Mexico. As Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Nick Janzen reports, the Indiana trend in conservation is reducing the pollution that creates harmful algae blooms and the gulf’s dead zone.

The Indianapolis Zoo, as part of the dolphin exhibit, has a video of dolphins swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. They’re swimming near a boat, pushing air through their blowholes.

Justin Ladia / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jrladia/

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources received more this year in their annual grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The extra money will be used for special, one-time projects.

 

Indiana’s share of the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program comes to $16.5 million this year, $2 million more than last. Chief Fiscal Administrator for the Division of Fish and Wildlife Julie Kempf says the program is critical, even though not many people know about it.

Rob George / https://furmangreenscene.wordpress.com/

Leaders of an effort to repatriate an endangered salamander to Indiana's Blue River say they're ready for the next step -- attempting to make the state's waterways habitable to the animals once again. 

While area conservationists' educational materials frequently paint the hellbender as a cute, smiling cartoon amphibian, the real deal is less adorable but arguably more intriguing.