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Lake Michigan Waterfront, Portage Park


Section125 of the Energy and Water Development Appropriation Act, 2006 (P.L. 109-163). 

Project Description:

The study area is part of the Lake Michigan coastline and is located in northwestern Indiana in Porter County. The proposed restoration project is south of the Lake Michigan shoreline, north of I-94, west of State Route 249, and east of the Town of Ogden Dunes.  

The feasibility study investigated issues of altered hydrology and hydraulics, native plant community diversity and structure, invasive species, connectivity, rare wetland communities, and native species richness. Project benefits expected 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.



Total Project Cost:   $ 5,600,000
Federal Cost:

  $ 3,400,000

Non-Federal Cost:   $ 2,200,000

Current Status:

A five-year construction contract started in September 2014 to restore 65 acres. The contractor, Encap Inc., selectively cleared invasive and aggressive woody species through 39 acres to improve the natural forested areas, treated invasive herbaceous species throughout the entire site making room for a healthier plant community, and re-graded 20 acres along the Burns Ditch Waterway. Over the winter, the entire site was seeded with a mixture of local native wildflowers, grasses and sedges. The site is prepared now for the installation of live native plants, trees, and shrubs picked to complement the existing native communities that will begin spring 2016. Invasive species management will continue throughout the contract to ensure successful establishment of the newly-installed native community.

Project Manager

Kirston Buczak


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