AUTHORITY: Section 506, GREAT LAKES FISHERY & ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION (SECTION 506 WRDA 2000, as amended)
The Chicago Park District (CPD) holds many city parks within the Chicago City limits, many of which have portions dedicated to natural habitats that exemplify the Chicago region. The CPD has requested that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District initiate a study under the Section 506 Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration (GLFER) authority to determine the feasibility of restoring important migratory bird, fish and wildlife habitat at the Hegewisch Marsh natural area.
DESCRIPTION: Hegewisch Marsh is a ~131 acre natural area located on the south side of Chicago. The site is bounded to the north by 130th Street, to the east by Torrence Avenue, to the south by USACE property (T.J. O’Brien Lock and Controlling Works), and to the west by the Calumet River (T37N, R14E, S36). The natural area is owned in part by the CPD, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRDGC) and USACE, with overall site management implemented by the CPD. USACE owns 1.8 acres along the southern edge of the site, and has an access road leading to the T.J. O’Brien Lock and Controlling Works.
STUDY STAKEHOLDERS: This study is a collaboration between the Chicago District USACE, the Rock Island District USACE, the Chicago Park District (non-Federal sponsor), the Wetlands Initiative, and Green Corps.
BENEFITS: Benefits of the proposed project would include restoring native wetlands and creating a complex ecosystem to benefit fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and migratory birds.
CURRENT STATUS: The feasibility study is currently under reviewed by the Great Lakes & Ohio River Division Office. Should the Division find this study acceptable to the Federal ecosystem mission and objectives, the document would be released for a 30-day Agency and Public Review period, which is anticipated for May/June 2015.