The Three Rivers

The confluence of rivers in Fort Wayne is at a turning point. The riverfront is poised for new commercial, residential, and public developments. The quality of the water is being addressed in a watershed management plan that is a cross-sector call to action. The community is engaging with the rivers in new ways, and has aspirations for their future.

This series examines the changing nature of our relationship with the rivers. 

Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry announced some financial progress on riverfront development Thursday. 

Henry says he’s hopeful that a $6 million request of Legacy money will quickly be approved by the Legacy Committee and City Council.

Tri-State Watershed Alliance

Thursday’s 2015 River Summit talks in Fort Wayne included everything from  urban flooding to cover crop training, as well as next steps in the City’s riverfront development process.

One big theme of the River Summit was balance. Rather than an either/or conversation, stakeholders discussed development and the environment.

Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

The Great Lakes form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth.

Last August, blue green algae blooms in Lake Erie caused hundreds of thousands of people to go without water. The cause – nutrients, especially phosphorous, in the waterways.  Many say unregulated runoff from agriculture was partly to blame.

Manufacturing is one of the largest sectors in Indiana’s economy. While it’s the source of many  jobs in the state, some claim it also contributes a lot of pollution to our waterways. But not in the  way you might think.

We continues our series "The Three Rivers" with a look at the state of water  regulations for industry in Indiana.


Fort Wayne has some grand plans for riverfront development. The City says the first step is to work on riparian buffers – specific areas of plants and soil along the river banks. This land, along with other rocky areas that separate the city from the water, create levees.

But not a lot is known about how to comprehensively improve the levees and environment along the rivers - yet.

Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

The banks along Fort Wayne’s rivers serve multiple purposes. Vegetation controls erosion, and helps filter water. Other impermeable areas help with runoff, and  control flooding. We continue our series "The Three Rivers" with an  explainer on an important, but often overlooked feature: riparian buffers.  

North Carolina DENR

There are some large-scale sources of water pollution in Northeast Indiana, but  what we all do at home can make a big impact, too.   We continue our series “The Three Rivers” with a  look at what precautions every resident of Fort Wayne can take to reduce water  pollution. 

Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

Fort Wayne’s Rivergreenway trail system is drawing an increasing number of  people down to the riverside. But there may also be more folks than ever getting up close and personal with the water. We continue our series The Three Rivers with a look at opportunities for  river recreation, and who’s participating. 

In their winter boots, with snow on the ground, the Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike  Depot crew is unloading dozens of new kayaks. 

Virginia Alvino / WBOI News

After years of simply being part of the landscape for many residents, Fort Wayne’s rivers are getting a lot of attention.

These days, there are new plans for restoration and riverfront development.

Today WBOI begins our series, “The Three Rivers.”

We’ll explore issues of Fort Wayne’s rivers and riverfronts one little piece at a time, reporting on how our relationship with them is changing, and what’s staying the same.

SWA/City of Fort Wayne

On Wednesday, a consulting group for the City of Fort Wayne unveiled the first part of its plan to develop the city’s riverfronts.

It’s the latest step in a long process that’s involved city funding, public meetings, and some long wish lists about what exactly we should do with our shorelines in Fort Wayne.

WBOI’s Virginia Alvino has been following the development planning. She sat down with Sean Bueter go discuss the latest.