- Associated Press - Sunday, March 12, 2017

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) - A new environmental group has formed to protect Lake Monroe and its watershed after discoveries of littering and low water quality.

The Friends of Lake Monroe group was founded by hydrologist Sherry Mitchell-Bruker and has about 40 members, The (Bloomington) Herald-Times reported (https://bit.ly/2msA4Oe ).

The idea began when Mitchell-Bruker noticed low water quality while kayaking on Indiana’s largest reservoir. She also found heaps of trash along the shoreline and an overwhelming number of motorboats on the lake.

“I felt that we needed a watershed group,” she said. “I was shocked that Lake Monroe didn’t have a watershed group.”

A watershed is an area where all rainfall drains off into a common water source, like a lake or river. Parts of Monroe, Brown, Jackson and Lawrence counties are part of the watershed for Lake Monroe, affecting the water quality for all of those areas.

Mitchell-Bruker decided to finally form a group when Bloomington began to have trouble with its drinking water. The heightened awareness of the lake’s water quality, according to the hydrologist, would help bring everyone together to ensure Lake Monroe’s water is kept clean.

“Having access to a clean and reliable water supply should be a top priority for all of us,” said group member David Simcox, who also demonstrated in support of the Standing Rock Sioux tribes. “When Sherry started the FOLM group last year, I knew I needed to contribute. It is clear now that, if we want to sustain Lake Monroe, many citizens need to be involved.”

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Information from: The Herald Times, https://www.heraldtimesonline.com

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