Jeorse Park

AUTHORITY:

Great Lakes Fishery and Ecosystem Restoration, (Section 506, WRDA 2000), as amended.

DESCRIPTION:

Jeorse Park Beach is located along the Lake Michigan shoreline southeast of Indiana Harbor and Shipping Canal in Lake County, Indiana. It is owned and operated by the City of East Chicago, Indiana. The project is adjacent to the Amtrak railroad lines with approximately 14.8 acres of beach and foredune habitat on the lakeside. The now completed project addresses restoration of 4500 feet of shoreline for aquatic habitat, and over 25 acres of lake bottom. The beach is within USEPA’s designated Grand Calumet River Area of Concern. This project affords the opportunity to address several Beneficial Use Impairments including beach closings and loss of fish and wildlife habitat.

This project addressed the restoration of nearly 40 acres of habitat located at or near Jeorse Park including near shore fisheries, beach and foredune. By restoring near shore hydraulics and increasing native floristic quality onshore, this project will provide essential habitat for fishes, migratory birds, reptiles and amphibians.

BENEFITS

The restoration project at Jeorse Park Beach will greatly increase the quality of submerged aquatic habitat ideal for spawning and foraging of native fishes, amphibians and macroinvertabrates, increase dune acreage and stability. Operation and maintenance of the project by the City of East Chicago will ensure long term viability of the project resources.

COSTS:

GLFER projects are cost shared 65 percent federal and 35 percent nonfederal. 

Total Project Cost:

 $2,380,000

Federal Cost:

 $1,547,000

Nonfederal Cost:

 $833,000

*This project is funded with Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) funds received from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

STATUS:

A five-year construction contract was awarded on Sept. 30, 2016, to Foundation Mechanics, a women-owned small business. On-site construction began with invasive plant treatment and removal in May 2017. Cobble reefs were installed for fish habitat, earth moving, and sand placement to create dunes, and breakwater filling was completed over the summer 2017. Initial planting of native species occurred in spring 2018. A pedestrian safety rail was also constructed along the breakwater in 2019. Construction was completed in December 2021, and the project was turned over to the nonfederal sponsor in February 2022 for all required operation and maintenance, repair, replacement and rehabilitation. The government will perform post-construction monitoring through 2026.