Deep River Watershed Initiative

The Deep River-Portage Burns Waterway Watershed is located on the southern tip of Lake Michigan in north central Lake and Porter Counties.  The watershed drains approximately 180 square miles of primarily urban and agricultural land to Lake Michigan through the Burns Waterway in Portage.  In 2012, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) released its draft 303d List of Impaired Waterbodies which identified 125 miles of stream in the watershed that were known to not be meeting state water quality standards or their ability to support swimming and fishing were threatened. In January 2014, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) was awarded a grant from IDEM to facilitate the development and implementation of a watershed management plan.  This collaborative effort, known as the “Deep River-Portage Burns Waterway Initiative”, brings together local communities, organizations and the public to begin laying the foundation for future restoration and conservation projects that ultimately lead to healthier streams and lakes for current and future generations to enjoy. We encourage you to check back here occasionally to see how the Initiative is progressing and how you can participate throughout the process.  We all live in a watershed, so by working together as a watershed community we can make a difference.
Follow the link below to explore your watershed and features such as stream monitoring points and impaired streams:  View Your Watershed

Upcoming Meetings:  

Meeting Presentations:

  • 1/21/2014 – Kickoff Meeting Presentation:  PDF
  • 2/13/2014 – Public Meeting Presentation:   PDF
  • 7/15/2014 – Public Meeting Presentation:   PDF
  • 8/7/2014 – Environmental Management Policy Committee Meeting Presentation:  PDF
  • 10/21/2014 – Public Meeting Presentation:  PDF
  • 2/17/2015 – Public Meeting Presentation:  PDF
  • 6/4/2015 – Environmental Management Policy Committee Meeting Presentation:  PDF



Deep River Dam (Lake Station)

The removal or modification of the Deep River Dam, located in Lake Station near Liverpool Road, has been identified as a high priority restoration action in the watershed management plan. Flatland Resources, LLC was contracted by NIRPC to complete an engineering feasibility study to evaluate the dams removal or modification and associated ecological and social impacts. The recommended action is to modify the failing dam by installing a constructed riffle which would provide fish passage and increase in-stream habitat diversity; improve recreational access and safety; maintain the existing community identity; and be a potential economic driver.

Deep River Dam Feasibility Study Public Handout:  PDF

Deep River Dam Feasibility Study Final Report:  PDF  |  HTML