Wetlands Not Warehouses


Join your neighbors in Franklin Township by saying “Wetlands NOT Warehouses” to local officials and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) on Tuesday April 9 at 5:30 PM!

What’s Happening

About 45 acres of the highest quality wetlands in Indiana are located at County Line Road and Arlington Avenue in Indianapolis. Developer Gershman Partners applied for a permit with IDEM to build warehouses where these wetlands currently exist, which will destroy them. Wetlands aren’t just crucial for wildlife but are essential for humans too! Learn more about wetlands and why they are important.

How You Can Help

Join your neighbors for a Public Hearing on Tuesday, April 9, 2024 at 5:30 pm EST at the Edgewood Intermediate School gymnasium (7620 Edgewood Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46239) to share your concerns about this development with IDEM! There is a short window of opportunity to speak up and share your concerns about allowing a developer to negatively impact these wetlands irreversibly.

Can’t attend the hearing on April 9? You can still submit written comments through April 14.

Detailed information about the project:
Public Hearing Format:
  • First, there will be an overview of the project and permit filed by the petitioner.
  • Cards will be available for those attending to complete if they wish to make public comments.
  • IDEM will gather all the completed cards and determine, based on the number of cards, the allotted time allowed for each individual to make public comments.
  • IDEM will also have the cards in the order that individuals will provide public comments.
  • The Public Hearing will commence, followed by a five-day period for written comments to be submitted.
  • IDEM will not answer questions but only listen and record public comments.
  • IDEM will then review these comments when determining approval or denial of the filed permit.

Looking for more information on how to prepare? Reach out to Jeni Jenkins with questions.

Why are Wetlands So Critical?

Understanding these essential Indiana ecosystems

Humans rely on water to sustain our needs and daily activities, including drinking, hygiene, agriculture, transportation, electricity generation, and recreation. Wetlands are an essential component of the fresh water we need for survival, yet nearly 85% of the United State’s wetlands have been lost. Take some time to understand why wetlands are so critical, so that you can better speak on the issue for the upcoming permit hearing.

An unprecedented threat

Wetlands play a crucial role in Indiana’s ecological and water systems, yet they’re under unprecedented threat. Once covering a significant portion of the state, nearly 85% of Indiana’s original wetlands have been lost, largely due to urbanization and agricultural expansion. These unique ecosystems are not merely patches of saturated land; they are vital natural assets that provide invaluable services.

Read more: What is a Wetland?

Wetlands play a crucial role

Wetlands act as nature’s water filters, purifying pollutants and sediments from our waterways, and serve as natural flood defenses by absorbing excess rainwater, reducing the risk and severity of flooding. They are biodiversity hotspots, supporting a wide array of plant and animal species, many of which are endangered or threatened. Moreover, wetlands are crucial for groundwater recharge, contributing to the sustainability of our water supplies.


Beyond the environment

The importance of these areas extends beyond environmental benefits. They also offer recreational opportunities, enhance property values, and contribute to our mental and physical well-being. Despite their significance, wetlands continue to face threats from proposed developments like the one on the table, underscoring the urgent need for protective measures and informed public involvement.

The History of Wetlands in Indiana

The Past

The Past

Indiana’s water policy has failed to protect one of our most precious resources: wetlands. Almost 85 percent of our original wetlands now gone from the state. In 2021, Indiana’s Senate Enrolled Act 389, also exempted many wetlands from regulation, including all Class I wetlands and Class II wetlands under certain conditions. The most recent federal court decision in Sackett v. EPA significantly reduced the number of wetlands protected under the Clean Water Act (CWA).

The Present

The Present

Developer Gershman Partners is applying for an Isolated Wetland Permit to impact a Class III wetland in southern Indianapolis along I-65 South and County Line Road. Class III wetlands are the highest-quality wetlands in Indiana. This wetland is part of a greater wetland ecosystem – about 45 acres – that will be developed into speculative warehouses. Read more about this proposal in our blog.

The Future

The Future

We envision a future where Indiana wetlands are protected for current and future generations to come. Where legislators don’t prioritize development over sustainability. Where residents can continue to enjoy the scenery of the wetlands and open space, and the wildlife they support, like sandhill cranes, bald eagles, and owls. We need your support!

More Resources

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What is a wetland?, A blog post explaining what wetlands are and why they are so important to our ecosystem.


Indiana Wetlands Challenge – Checklist, A checklist for outdoor enthusiasts of the finest examples of protected wetlands in Indiana.


FAQ – Water Policy in the 2024 Legislative Session, Answers to questions HEC received during our Troubled Waters Ahead? Indiana’s 2024 Water Policy Preview webinar.


Indiana Needs Better Wetland Policy, A local example of wetland loss in central Indiana.