Restoring Natural Resources
Contaminant Specialists in Action in the Midwest:
Historic industrial activities on the former (WWII) Illinois Ordnance Plant caused contamination of the land and water which is now being cleaned up (remediated) and restored to fully functioning fish and wildlife habitat.
Northwest Indiana Restorations enabled by MIDCO settlements (link to stories)
2001 - present
Enabled by settlements for natural resource damages, the Service and our State of Indiana co-trustees have preserved, enhanced, and protected rare dune-and-swale habitat along the Lake Michigan shoreline in northwest Indiana. See also national Service Division of Environmental Quality website.
Fox River/Green Bay, Wisconsin (link to stories)
2002 - present
Enabled by settlements for natural resource damages, the Service and our co-trustee agencies (the States of Wisconsin and Michigan, the Oneida and Menominee Tribes, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), have implemented numerous projects to restore the ecology and environment of the Lower Fox River and Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Fish Creek, Northeast Indiana (link to stories)
As the Service was investigating the water quality needs of the endangered White Cats Paw Pearly Mussel in Fish Creek, a pipeline rupture released 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the stream, degrading nearly five miles of habitat. Contaminants biologists from the Bloomington, Indiana field office were called out to gauge the damage to the stream and impact to the endangered mussel. In cooperation with Indiana & Ohio state agencies, a Natural Resources Damage Assessement was conducted, and the resulting $2.5 million settlement is being used to restore the creek.
Mark Twain National Wildlife Refuge (link to stories)
Mark Twain National Wildlife Refuge is a complex of several management units along the Mississippi River north of St. Louis. Responding to concerns about the effects of polluted runoff on the refuge, Contaminants biologists compared habitats on the refuge that receive their water from the Mississippi River with habitats that receive water from tributaries flowing through regions of intense agriculture. The studies determined that habitats receiving their waters from the Mississippi were considerably healthier.
A treatment wetlands has been constructed to act as a buffer zone to receive the polluted runoff, which has proved highly effective in "treating" runoff before it reaches important refuge habitats.