About ERRA

The Elkhart River Restoration Association, Inc. was founded in 1983 to study the needs of the Elkhart River and its watershed. As a not-for-profit corporation the association works with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), the Army Corp. of Engineers, the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), and local officials to improve the river. The Association helps to identify the various needs along the river, informs officials, seeks to make the river a public priority, and assists in the planning of cleanup and repair projects.

Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the river for fishing, boating, and its natural wildlife and beauty.

Mission

To provide a clean environment for wildlife and community recreation within the Elkhart River and Goshen Dam Pond watershed.

Watershed Management Plan

The Elkhart River Restoration Association, Inc received a 319 Grant given by the federal EPA and administered by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). The $518,000 grant was used to develop a watershed management plan for the Elkhart River Watershed, develop best management practices (BPM) demonstration sites, and educate the various stakeholders to what can be done to improve the watershed.

Click the map image to see the full Elkhart River Watershed Management Plan

Back to top

Join ERRA

The Elkhart River Restoration Association, Inc. was founded in 1983 to study the needs of the Elkhart River and its watershed. Membership is open to anyone with an interest in the river for fishing, boating, and its natural wildlife and beauty.

By clicking on the “Join Now” button you will be taken to secure PayPal site where you can use PayPal or ANY Credit Card to join the ERRA and help improve the Elkhart River Watershed.

Back to top

ERRA Directors

ERRA is managed by a 9 member board of directors. Directors are elected from the general membership during the Annual Membership Meeting held each September.

The present board of Directors:

  • Nancy Brown – President
  • Milt Thomas – Vice President
  • Jason Kauffman – Secretary
  • David Troup – Treasurer
  • William Rieth
  • Gene Lightner
  • James Hess
  • Nathan King
  • Doug Nisley

Back to top

ERRA Projects Chronology

1982Held local home meetings around Pond area to:
a) Clean up Goshen Pond to improve water quality
b) Clean Elkhart River around Goshen area
c) Reduce flooding in Goshen
d) Repair old Dam
1983Incorporated June 16 as non-profit corporation in the state of Indiana.
Elected Board of Directors and Officers.
Set Goals.
Held meetings with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
1984Hired Ten_Eck Engineering for study of the Elkhart River.
Held meetings with county officials of LaGrange, Noble, Kosciusko and Elkhart.
1985IDNR shows interest in helping of river clearing and snagging.
IDNR officials float river and promise a report.
1986IDNR floats the river for survey and report.
Right of Entry forms need to be signed by property owners along river before work can begin.
Goshen Dam springs leak and is not repairable.
1987Emergency declared at leaking dam.
No funds are available from State or Federal Agencies.
New dam extension is built with draw-down tubes using local funds:
Elkhart County Park Department: $325,000
City of Goshen: $55 ,000
ERRA – Engineering: $25,000
ERRA – Donations: $40,000
IDNR Grant in 1990: $50,000
Total Cost: $495,000
1987Contract let for clearing of north and south branches of Elkhart River.
Hired Lawson-Fisher for water quality study of Goshen Pond.
1988Completed clean up of north and south branches of Elkhart River.
Goshen Pond drained to inspect old dam and banks.
1989Hired Lawson-Fisher to engineer new Dam and Pond area.
Applied for new funding to continue river cleaning.
1990Funds requested from Indiana Lottery Agency in the amount of $2,250,000 to build new dam and dredge the pond.
River cleaning complete to Benton Dam.
1991Work started on new dam in fall.
River cleaning complete to Waterford bridge.
Permits and consents obtained from all property owners through the City of Goshen.
1992New dam completed in December.
Held meetings with IDNR and other agencies for additional funding to complete cleaning of the river.
1993-1995We are still awaiting finding release from IDNR to clean the river through the City of Goshen. We have been told this will happen in 1996.
1996Agreement signed by Elkhart County Commissioners to IDNR to budget $15,000 annually for clearing and cleaning of the Elkhart River by the Elkhart County Park Department.
1997Requested assistance from IDNR to repair river banks to control water flow into old gravel pit at Miller’s Manor Addition along OxBow Drive.
Again requested funding from Budget Committee of Legislators to complete river cleaning from Goshen to the St. Joe River in Elkhart.
River cleaning completed through the City of Goshen.
2006Received EPA 319 Grant $518,000 to develop an Elkhart River Watershed Management Plan and to fund the design and implementation of demonstration BMP’s. The Grant is administered by IDEM and is a 39 month project. Study and inventory the entire watershed.
2008Elkhart River Watershed Management Plan completed and approved.
$40,000 for the Watershed Management Plan
$348,500 Expenses
Actual expenses: $248,000; $129,500 In-kind
850 volunteer hours
2011 – 20 14$397,000 Great Lake Commission Grant Received
36 month grant; purpose of grant: Reduce amount of sediment from entering the Elkhart River.
Goal: prevent 40 thousand tons of sediment from entering the river over 10 yrs.
2012Received $7,500 LARE Grant to develop a Goshen Dam Pond Dredging Plan.
Started stocking of the Elkhart River with Walleye fingerlings every two years.
2013Received Goshen Dam Pond dredging permit.
2014Goshen Dam Pond Dredging Plan approval received.

Back to top