Caves and Springs

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Please keep me informed about the I-69 issue and send me occasional updates from the Hoosier Environmental Council. I understand I can opt out any time.

Karst Features
(caves, springs, and sinkholes)

Sullivan Cave

Indiana KARST Map

Indiana is home to some of the most distinctive karst geology in the world. Known for their unique and sensitive surface and underground features, karst formations occur as water dissolves limestone bedrock. Karst regions are particularly susceptible to contamination because karst features provide a direct conduit for polluted surface water to reach the water table.

Caves are highly specialized ecosystems with distinct microclimates. These caves are home to many extraordinary species, including blind cavefish and crayfish. Several of the larger caves near the new-terrain route are critical hibernacula for the endangered Indiana bat.

Blind Cave Fish

Blind Cave Fish

State and federal agencies have all acknowledged the need to protect Indiana’s rare and sensitive karst geology.

In spite of this recognition, the current new-terrain I-69 route will disturb or destroy hundreds of rare karst features, including 14 caves, 103 springs, and 305 sinkholes.

The alternative route avoids the entire karst region in Southeastern Indiana.

It’s not too late to change direction.