The South Fork of the South Branch of the Chicago River has been greatly altered by urban development. Of significant concern is the ecosystem degradation associated with an impervious watershed, stream channel filling and widening, large quantities of biological refuse and an unnatural and flashy hydraulic regime. Problems that would be addressed by the authorized project include stream channelization, sediment degradation, lack of in-stream and riparian habitat, and water quality issues.
Ecosystem restoration measures recommended in the Chief’s Report include riparian plant restoration, substrate restoration, invasive plant species removal and woody debris structures.
This project would provide much needed habitat to species utilizing the Great Lakes and Mississippi flyway that experience scarcity of refuge in the urban environment.
The project will be built in an area that has historically dealt with socio-economic issues and lack of green space.