CHICAGO – On July 1, 2015 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Congressman Pete Visclosky (IN-1), and officials from the City of Portage, Ind., held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction for the Lake Michigan Waterfront Portage Park project. This project is being completed in a partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Portage.
"The City of Portage recognizes the importance of identifying partners - partners willing and committed to implementing the vision outlined in the Marquette Plan. On behalf of the City of Portage, I would like to thank Congressman Visclosky and the USACE for their support in furthering our mission - to create a livable lakefront," said Portage Mayor James Snyder.
The restoration project is part of the Lake Michigan coastline in Porter County, Ind. The project will help establish native plant community diversity, remove invasive species, restore waterway connectivity, and restore rare wetland communities and native species richness. Project benefits will include riparian vegetation restoration, increases in-stream habitat, reestablishment of stream hydraulics, and the restoration of ridge and swale topography with wetland, prairie, and savanna plant communities within the coastal zone of Lake Michigan.
“Lake Michigan is one of our national treasures and we are looking forward to working with this team to help restore and reconnect the ecological diversity of the area,” Chicago District Commander Col. Christopher Drew said.
"I commend Mayor James Synder, the City of Portage, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for their continued efforts to create good paying jobs all while having a positive impact on our environment. The Marquette Plan was initiated to revitalize Northwest Indiana's Lake Michigan shoreline, a resource of tremendous value to the residents of Indiana's First Congressional District. The progress that continues to occur with investment projects such as the one initiated here will build a strong economic foundation for future generations. Furthermore, this project will restore wetlands, support the eradication of invasive species, improve waterway connectivity, and, most importantly, put people to work," Congressman Pete Visclosky said.
A five-year contract was awarded to Encap in September 2014 in the amount of $3.2 million. Regrading and other construction activities will take place in year one. Planting will occur in year two and years 3-5 will be plant establishment and monitoring.