Loramie Valley Alliance
The Loramie Valley Alliance (LVA) is a partnership of people representing public and private organizations, working together for the benefit of Loramie Creek and its tributaries. This kind of organization is typically referred to as a “watershed project.”
A watershed is an area of land draining to a specific body of water. All of the land draining to Loramie Creek and its tributaries, therefore, is included within the Loramie Creek Watershed. This is the area with which the LVA is concerned.
The Loramie Creek Watershed is located in West Central Ohio, and is comprised of portions of four counties, Shelby, Darke, Mercer, and Auglaize. The watershed is at the headwaters of the Great Miami River, and once served as a heavily traveled portage route for Native Americans and colonial settlers. Several villages and towns dot the watershed including Ft. Loramie, Minster, Anna, Botkins, North Star, Osgood, Yorkshire, Newport, Russia, Lockington, and Kettlersville. Although the western edge of the city of Sidney drains to the Loramie Creek, most of Sidney lies outside the watershed and drains directly to the Great Miami River.
The quality of the Loramie Creek and its tributaries is largely affected by nonpoint source pollution. This is the kind of pollution, which runs off the land with heavy rain or snowmelt. Since the majority of landuse in the watershed is agricultural (87%), agricultural activity can have a large influence on the condition of Loramie Creek and Lake Loramie. Another potential impact in the rural watershed is contamination from malfunctioning septic systems. Additionally, In order to improve drainage, trees were removed from much of Loramie Creek and many of its tributaries. This increases streambank erosion, raises water temperatures, and removes important food and habitat resources from much of the ecosystem.
Ohio EPA Rating
Because of these human impacts, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency rated most of Loramie Creek only “Fair” or “Poor” in 1994. The agency also listed the portion of Loramie Creek upstream from Lake Loramie as “non-attaining” designated uses, and the segments from Lake Loramie to Loramie-Washington Rd as only “partially attaining.” Significantly, the portion of Loramie Creek below Loramie-Washington Road has a relatively intact streamside forest. This portion of the creek was rated as “good” or “exceptional,” and was found to be meeting water quality standards. Loramie Creek serves as a good example for how land use close to a body of water can dramatically influence water quality.