Michigan City, IN (December 20, 2017) – With a $500,000 grant by the U.S. EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Delta Institute will partner with Michigan City Sanitary District and Alliance for the Great Lakes to design and install wetlands on Trail Creek to reduce stormwater runoff in Michigan City.

With this grant, along with a Sustain Our Great Lakes grant to Michigan City Sanitary District and a funding match from the Sanitary District, the team will create approximately five acres of wetlands to reduce the urban pollution discharge to the Trail Creek Watershed from Cheney Run, which eventually reaches Lake Michigan. The wetlands will improve water quality in Trail Creek and Lake Michigan, increase recreation opportunities, and improve habitat for animals and plants.

“A significant portion of Michigan City’s urban stormwater runs through the Cheney Run outfall into Trail Creek, carrying with it harmful pollution, and this project will reduce the impact of stormwater flow as well as improving the health of the watershed,” said Delta CEO Bill Schleizer. “We’re excited to partner with the Michigan City Sanitary District and Alliance for the Great Lakes on this important project.”

“We are excited about the measurable benefits that will result from this project for our City and our community’s water quality.” Said Sanitary District General Manager Michael Kuss. “The Cheney Run Treatment Area will allow us to continue to meet our goal of reducing pollution from urban stormwater runoff and to meet the recommendations of the Trail Creek Watershed Management Plan.”

“This project will do more than clean up storm water,” said Ethan Brown, Community Planning Manager at Alliance for the Great Lakes. “It will give Michigan City residents new recreational opportunities and protect the salmon and trout runs that are an important part of the city’s tourism industry. We commend Michigan City for being a Lake Michigan leader in planning projects with residents and stakeholders that combine benefits for the public, for local wildlife, and for Lake Michigan.”

When completed the project will benefit Trail Creek, Lake Michigan, and the quality of life of Michigan City residents by:

  • Improving Trail Creek & Lake Michigan water qualityThe wetland will help to manage an estimated 37.5 million gallons of storm water each year, reducing the amount of pollutants such as sediment, E. Coli, and nutrients, entering Trail Creek and Lake Michigan.
  • Increasing recreation opportunitiesNew trails will be created as part of the project, connecting nearby neighborhoods and existing trails, and will include new fishing access point and a new kayak launch on Trail Creek.
  • Improving critical coastal habitat New high quality wetland habitat will help coastal Indiana’s animals and plants survive and thrive. In addition, improved water quality and habitat in Trail Creek is critical to protecting the City’s famous Salmon and Steelhead Trout runs.

The Michigan City Sanitary District, as the owner, is the responsible agency for the overall project and Delta will provide overall coordination of the project on behalf of the Sanitary District. Alliance for the Great Lakes will lead the Maintenance Capacity Assessment aspect of the project and serve as the conveners throughout the project, identifying key stakeholders and soliciting public input throughout the green infrastructure design and implementation process.

Delta Institute collaborates with communities to solve complex environmental challenges throughout the Midwest. Visit online at www.delta-institute.org.

 The Michigan City Sanitary District (MCSD) is responsible for the collection and treatment of all wastewater and the collection, conveyance, and management of stormwater within Michigan City. The MCSD was the lead agency in the development of the Trail Creek Watershed Management Plan. To find out more, visit www.mcsan.org.

 The Alliance for the Great Lakes works to protect the Great Lakes for today and tomorrow. The Alliance involves tens of thousands of people each year in advocacy, volunteering, education, and research to ensure the lakes are healthy and safe for all.

For more information contact: Jennifer Caddick, jcaddick@greatlakes.org, (312) 445-7960