Indiana halfway to floodplain conservation goal

A state-run conservation push targeting two Indiana rivers is nearly halfway to its goal of protecting 70,000 acres of riverside land from development.

Gov. Mitch Daniels says Indiana's two-year-old Healthy Rivers INitiative has permanently protected nearly 30,000 acres of floodplains along the Wabash and Muscatatuck Rivers from development. He made the announcement Tuesday during a visit to Terre Haute.

The Healthy Rivers effort is the largest land conservation initiative in state history. It seeks to protect land along the Wabash and its western Indiana Sugar Creek tributary and the Muscatatuck in south-central Indiana.

Nature Conservancy state director Mary McConnell says the Wabash River and its tributaries supply 72 percent of Indiana's counties with their drinking water and are a resource that must be protected.

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