Improving Hydrology and Riparian Habitat at Big Marsh Natural Area (IL)
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Park 564 (Big Marsh Natural Area), Chicago, Illinois

Big Marsh, a once-thriving wetland complex in the Calumet region of the Lake Michigan watershed, has been significantly degraded by sand mining and filling operations associated with the once-thriving local steel production industry. Through this project, the Chicago Park District will remove physical impediments to functional hydrology in Big Marsh and dramatically enhance some of the unnaturally steep and degraded riparian areas to establish 5.6 acres of healthy, native riparian habitat along 1.37 miles of creek and adjacent marsh banks. This project will enhance previous and concurrent restoration efforts by focusing on improvements to hydrology and riparian habitat required to restore hemi-marsh conditions that can more consistently support marsh birds and other desirable wildlife.

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