Pharos-Tribune

Editorials

February 6, 2014

THEIR VIEW: Let's get aggressive in protecting river

As Terre Haute made clear during its 2013 Year of the River observance, the Wabash is a treasure.

An astute student of the famed waterway used those words last week in a downtown presentation, “The Wabash: Indiana’s River.” The speaker, Brad Smith of The Nature Conservancy, said, “The Wabash River is really a treasure that the state of Indiana has.” Smith, the organization’s Lower Wabash and wetlands program director, described the abundant aquatic wildlife in a river that uniquely flows 411 miles undammed. Larger rivers, even the mighty Mississippi, can’t compare to the “biologically rich” Wabash, he said.

It faces man-made problems, though. Smith listed six stresses on the Wabash — change in its natural flow; high amounts of nutrients, herbicides and insecticides; pollution from Wabash communities; alternation of adjacent lands; vanishing tree cover; and invasive species. The Conservancy is tackling the hard-to-change farming practices that cause erosion and runoff problems through coalitions with farm groups, and is raising awareness concerning changes made to the Wabash tributaries and ditches that disrupt the river’s natural flow.

The leadership of the state government needs to help out, too. To be sure, former Gov. Mitch Daniels enhanced the river’s future as a diverse, breathtaking outdoor oasis by protecting nearly 45,000 acres of its watershed, including the Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area. That action may arguably become Daniels’ most positive lasting legacy.

Unfortunately, Indiana pays only lax attention to the pollution that finds its way into the Wabash. Indiana ranked No. 1 in the nation in the amount of toxins poured into its waterways by industries, according to a 2012 report by Environment America. More than 27 million pounds of pollutants reached Hoosier rivers and streams, said the report, which was based on the U.S. EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory data compiled in 2010 and cited by the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. A primary repository was the Ohio River on Indiana’s southern border, but the Wabash and other streams were affected, too.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • THEIR VIEW: Indiana needs open primary elections Indiana's primary election system is dysfunctional. What the state really needs is an open primary system. This month, the Lake County election board argued about the procedures for recruiting high school students as poll workers for the May 6 primar

    April 23, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Let voters weigh option of easing daily commute There was a time in this country when workers typically lived less than an hour's walk from their jobs. A time when a "commuter" was simply a traveler taking advantage of a reduced railway fare on his way to the big city. A time when the American sub

    April 22, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Careful look at tax structure needed Indiana legislators this year created a "blue-ribbon commission" to study the state's taxes on businesses this summer. We hope the commission will listen to Larry DeBoer, a Purdue professor who might understand Indiana's tax structure better than any

    April 20, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Littering shows disregard for surroundings Numbers tell a sad story about the disregard many Hoosiers have for their surroundings. Too many in Indiana don't care enough about the environment to prevent them from cluttering the countryside by carelessly tossing litter along the side of roadway

    April 18, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Lawmakers fail to act on the issue After several years of fretting over Indiana's ongoing methamphetamine problem, the Indiana General Assembly continues to struggle for a solution. The issue seems to come up every session, given that Indiana leader the nation in meth lab seizures. Bu

    April 17, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Constitutional convention won't work today There seems to be a growing idea that we need a Constitutional convention. That, of course, is the other way to change the Constitution. Amendments have been used 27 times to make changes, ranging from limiting the president's term of office to the d

    April 16, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Health care fraud can't go unchecked National health care spending tops $2.7 trillion annually. That leaves a lot of room, and temptation, for abuse of a bureaucracy that administers medical services. Medicare and Medicaid scams may cost taxpayers more than $98 billion each year. Health

    April 15, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Lessons from 2nd Fort Hood The shooting at Fort Hood last week has stirred up more debates about guns and mental health but adding little more than some oratorical dust. Consider these elements: • Army Spec. Ivan Lopez, who killed three and wounded 16 others before taking his

    April 10, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Fast lane for road projects Our interstate, national and state highways carry millions of people through and across Indiana each year. Those roadways form the physical connections among our communities. Not just people, but dollars. One state legislator says "half a trillion do

    April 9, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Doubts about Common Core doubts It wasn't the most solid week in the movement to swap out the school standards known as Common Core State Standards for a homegrown set of measures in Indiana. Sure, the General Assembly was able to get a bill to Gov. Mike Pence last month to scrap t

    April 8, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.