Indian Ridge Marsh โ€“ South Restoration

In partnership with the Chicago Park District, the Greater Chicago Watershed Alliance (originally established as the Chicago-Calumet River Watershed Council) has identified a catalytic multi-benefit ecosystem restoration project at Indian Ridge Marsh - South, a hemi-marsh wetland habitat located on the southeast side of Chicago in the Calumet region. The continued restoration of this site will provide far-reaching benefits including: 

  • Restoring a variety of native plant communities and improving habitat structure for wildlife including mammals, fish, native reptiles and amphibians, invertebrates, insects, and birds. 
  • Increasing a network of publicly accessible natural areas and trails being developed in the Calumet region.
  • Engaging with the surrounding communities in natural area restoration and providing new opportunities for youth engagement.

In addition to being a historically neglected area of the Chicago River system, Indian Ridge Marsh - South is surrounded by disinvested communities and environmental justice areas which have long suffered from poor air quality, waterborne pollution, and community flooding. This site’s restoration will offset centuries of degradation through pollution, altered hydrology, climate change, and the introduction of invasive species. 

The project site is also in a FEMA Flood Hazard Area and will be used to absorb stormwater runoff and filter waterborne pollution. It will serve as a model and catalyst for the Chicago-Calumet Watershed Council’s co-benefit approach which is essential to withstanding and combating existing loss of ecosystem health and the increasing impacts of the climate crisis.

Chicago-Calumet River Watershed Council site visit to Indian Ridge Marsh-South project with site leaders from the Chicago Park District.