Chesterton Tribune

Little Calumet River wetlands in Westchester Township to be restored in Heinze Fund Corps of Engineers project

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has signed a project partnership agreement with Shirley Heinze Land Trust for the Little Calumet River Riparian Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration Project to improve the ecological quality of the Little Calumet Wetlands, at the intersection of Indian Boundary and Brummitt roads in Porter County.

“This is a very important day, and we are excited to work with Shirley Heinze Land Trust to accomplish the restoration of a rare high-quality resource that has been declining in northwest Indiana,” USACE Project Manager Kirston Buczak said in a statement released on Tuesday.

Shirley Heinze Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established to preserve and protect the unique ecosystems of northwest Indiana.

The purpose of the 43-acre project is to restore the natural floodplain and to improve water quality, wildlife diversity, and abundance by restoring native wetland and mesic woodland habitats and eliminating invasive species.

“This project is relatively small in size but has large benefits in sustainable natural resources,” Buczak said.

“Over the last 100 years, conversion to agricultural, urban, and industrial use of the wetlands led to a significant loss of habitat and biodiversity,” the statement noted.

Construction is scheduled to begin fall 2012.

Funding of this project is through U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. GLRI priorities include cleaning up toxics and areas of concern, combating invasive species, promoting near-shore health by protecting watersheds from polluted run-off, restoring wetlands and other habitats and tracking progress and working with strategic partners.



Posted 8/15/2012