GARY – The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) has received a $351,073 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for stormwater management around the Marquette Park lagoon.
The lagoon is the site of a $1 million EPA dredging project that is removing decades of accumulated sediment. The RDA is partnering with the City of Gary and the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to create a conservation corps to implement green stormwater best management practices in the Marquette Park Lagoon watershed.
“Many of the projects made possible by this grant are green infrastructure projects that will be constructed by conservation corps workers,” said Susan Hedman, EPA Region 5 administrator and Great Lakes National Program Manager. “Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding will be used to put people to work improving storm water management in Gary – near Marquette Park.”
The lagoon is impacted by sedimentation and nutrient runoff from stormwater outflows originating in the Miller neighborhood of Gary. The project will create jobs for unemployed residents in the area while reducing nutrient and sediment loading to the Marquette Park lagoons. It will also support Gary’s green infrastructure stormwater initiative, which offers community engagement opportunities for citizens to participate through workshops, forums and demonstration projects provided by the City of Gary’s Department of Green Urbanism and Gary Storm Water Management District (GSWMD).
“This project is another way we are leveraging the RDA’s $28 million investment in Marquette Park,” said Bill Hanna, president and CEO of the RDA.
The project, scheduled to begin in March and run through November, will employ four graduates of the City of Gary’s brownfield training program as well as a supervisor from the Student Conservation Association (SCA), a non-profit group dedicated to the protection and restoration of national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks and community green spaces.