Chesterton Tribune



ArcelorMittal contributes to $960K grant fund for Little Calumet River restoration

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Chi-Cal Rivers Fund partners are announcing five projects selected to receive $960,000 in grant funding to improve and enhance waterways in the Chicago-Calumet region.

These community-driven investments--expected to generate $1.46 million in matching contributions, for a total conservation impact of $2.42 million--will enhance fish and wildlife habitat, reduce stormwater runoff, and improve public-use opportunities, according to a statement released this week.

Specifically, the five grant-funded projects will restore forest and savanna habitat along the East Branch of the Little Calumet River, improve fish passage in Mill Creek for native species, enhance public park space and access to natural areas at Wolf Lake, and increase stormwater storage capacity in the greater Chicago area. Collectively, these projects will achieve the following:

* Restore and enhance 240 acres of savanna, riparian and upland habitat.

* Improve 13,200 feet of in-stream habitat.

* Create and improve more than 10 acres of neighborhood green space.

* Add more than 551,200 square feet of green stormwater infrastructure.

Administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the fund is supported in 2017 with contributions from ArcelorMittal, BNSF Railway, The Chicago Community Trust, The Crown Family, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service.

The grants announced this week mark the fund’s fifth annual slate of grants, bringing its total cumulative impact to $18.23 million.

“The Chi-Cal Rivers Fund demonstrates how public-private partnerships can uniquely accelerate the restoration and revitalization of habitats, waterways and communities through collaborative investment and strategic alignment,” NFWF Executive Director and CEO Jeff Trandahl. “The awards announced today represent the fund’s fifth year of conservation investments throughout the Chicago-Calumet region, which have led to the restoration of more than 1,600 acres of habitat, 4.5 million gallons of additional stormwater capacity and the creation or enhancement of more than 80 acres of public park and neighborhood green space.”

“As the world’s leading steel and mining company, we recognize the critical importance of our region’s waterways and appreciate the opportunity to work with like-minded partners to revitalize these important assets,” said Bill Steers, general manager of corporate responsibility and communications for ArcelorMittal. “As a founding member of the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund, we are proud to leverage our resources, funding and ideas with our partners to advance this effective public-private partnership. Together, we are making progress on important issues such as stormwater infrastructure, habitat restoration and neighborhood green space that address key challenges in the Calumet region.”

To learn more about the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund and the five projects, visit



Posted 11/17/2017




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