TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Sara McMillan from the Purdue University Center for the Environment will be advising policy makers on decisions regarding wetlands development. It stems from a requirement for a wetlands task force outlined in Senate Bill 389, which as News 18 previoiusly reported, caused controversy among environmentalists and homeowners.
"There was a lot concern among fellow scientists and just questions about how that would be affecting wetland protections across the state," McMillan said.
McMillan, along with Jennifer Freeman and Lynne Dahmen at the Center for the Environment, had previously worked to gather over 700 people to a forum on the value of Wetlands, including those no longer protected in Senate Bill 389. With the attention of the governor's office, McMillan now plans to highlight the many environmental uses of isolated wetlands.
"And it's those kind of multiple uses of wetlands that I think are hard to quantify but also then sometimes hard for folks to figure out how to regulate because they have so many... there's so many different kinds of wetlands," McMillan said.
McMillan and others appointed to the task force will give a report of recommendations to the governor by November 1st, 2022. In the meantime, McMillan will be preparing to help the task force find a balance between environmental protection and development.
"And that will help form what we can do as a task force to move towards a really resilient wetland protection that does balance needs of development, right? I think we need to be pragmatic, but we can also do so in a way that preserves and protects the functions of the few existing wetlands we have left in Indiana," McMillan said.