The City of Baton Rouge is the subrecipient of a grant awarded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center for the project entitled "Upper Ward Creek Water Management Program." The Network Grant
was awarded to the LSU AgCenter in July 2014 and the project was kicked-off in October 2014. Work for this grant will conclude in September 2017. There are five (5) goals of the project:
- Goal 1 Collect existing surface and stormwater descriptive data for the Upper Ward Creek watershed sub-segment to create a portfolio of information for comprehensive water management
- Goal 2 Collect new and continuous water quality and flow data for Ward Creek and its tributaries within the Upper Ward Creek watershed using the portfolio developed in Goal 1 to help determine monitoring needs
- Goal 3 Strengthen the Water Quality Enhancement Committee stakeholder group and create educational and assessment workshops
- Goal 4 Develop the concept for a stormwater management demonstration and education site at the LSU Agricultural Center Burden Museum and Gardens facility
- Goal 5 Develop a water monitoring plan for East Baton Rouge Parish to be used as a model for other organizations
The project is funded through the Environmental Information Exchange Network
(EIEN) Grant Program. The Exchange Network is a group of partners working with the EPA to provide better access to high-quality environmental data. Partners share information and base decisions on collaborative consensus. Environmental decision-makers recognize that technology can be used to protect human health and the environment by improving the way we share and use data. The EPA and its Partners have revolutionized the exchange of this information by providing secure, real-time access to those data.
To fulfill the obligations of the subaward agreement, the City-Parish Department of Information Services GIS Division is developing a variety of data about the Upper Ward Creek watershed. This includes a landcover classification
of the watershed, attribute data about Ward Creek and its tributaries, mapping outfall locations, attaching construction drawings to the stream segment features, and building web maps to display the information. Additionally, City-Parish staff members have assisted LSU AgCenter staff by collecting water samples during significant rain events. In the future, this website will host water sampling reports, information about upcoming events, and links to relative data resources.