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Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration

Grand Calumet River - 2011 Accomplishments


Second Major Grand Calumet River Restoration Effort Underway


hydraulic dredge

An hydraulic dredge pumps sediments from the river bottom.


geotubes being mechanically opened.

After dewatering, the geotubes are opened before the sediments can be transferred and trucked offsite.


Sign posted on river edge that explains the project.

Removal of 252,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the West Branch of the Grand Calumet River and Roxana Marsh began June 2011. This project will hydraulically dredge more than a mile of river, and a cap will be placed over remaining sediments. Roxana marsh contamination will be mechanically removed and the marsh habitats restored beginning later this year. 


Currently, sediments are being pumped from the river into “geotubes” for dewatering purposes.  After approximately 8 to 12 days, these bags are then opened and mechanically transferred to trucks for off site disposal at a licensed special waste landfill. We expect that this project will be completed by late summer 2012. The natural resource co-trustees (IDEM, IDNR and FWS on behalf of DOI) and EPA’s Great Lakes Legacy Act (GLLA) are partnering on the $50 million project.


In addition, the natural resource co-trustees (IDEM, IDNR and FWS on behalf of DOI) are also with EPA GLNPO on approximately 1.5 miles of the East Branch Grand Calumet River (DuPont reach). This reach is in design phase with GLLA and NRDA settlement funding. 



Trustees and EPA Complete First Mile of Grand Calumet River Restoration


In with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes National Program Office, more than a mile of the West Branch Grand Calumet River has been dredged, capped and river banks restored.  The natural resource co-trustees (IDEM, IDNR and FWS on behalf of DOI) partnered with EPA’s Great Lakes Legacy Act (GLLA) funding to accomplish this work. This stretch of river was particularly challenging because we had to accommodate the Hammond Sanitary District’s ongoing efforts to improve their storm water management and the elimination of several combined sewer overflows in this area.  Our efforts were a catalyst for revitalizing this area and we look forward to continued success as we expand these efforts in the watershed. These redknots were photographed on the West Branch on April 13 while the restoration was still ongoing. Great egrets are now common in the restored reach.



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Last updated: May 11, 2015