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Great Lakes Article:

State to enlarge local nature preserves
State earmarks $685,892 for projects in Lake and LaPorte County.
By Bill Dolan
Northwest Indiana Times

Indiana will preserve 20 acres of wetland outside Crown Point, shore up Lake George near downtown Hobart's back yard and restore a remnant of west Lake County's prairie land.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources also announced Friday it has earmarked $685,892 for projects in Lake and LaPorte County.

"Restoration of the greatness of the Great Lakes depends on the focused efforts of every concerned citizen and all levels of government," DNR Director John Goss said Friday in announcing the awards.

The Lake County Parks and Recreation Department will use $132,647 to purchase two 20-acre parcels of land that border the current 257-acre Deep River Headwaters land base.

The land will provide additional wetland refuge large enough to attract a wide variety of wildlife. It also will help overcome the negative impacts of development adjacent to the current property, which has reduced water quality and decreased the amount of habitat available.

Deep River Headwaters is located in the upper reaches of Beaver Dam Ditch that feeds Deep River. It is on U.S. 231, west of Crown Point. The parks department will partner with the Lake Heritage Parks Foundation for this project.

The state will spend $200,000 to restore 950 feet of eroded Lake George shoreline, a 260-acre lake on Deep River. The project is in Jerry Pavese Park, a short walk from downtown Hobart.

The project will eliminate erosion that contributes more than 800 tons of sediment per year to Lake George, Deep River and Lake Michigan. Hobart spent $3 million dredging the lake of sediment that had choked it until 2000.

The state will spend $100,000 to restore 72 acres of the Hoosier Prairie Nature Preserve, the largest remaining prairie/savanna complex in Indiana.

The 430-acre prairie and savanna around Kennedy and Main at the confluence of Griffith, Highland and Schererville are a habitat for endangered plant species. The DNR will provide a more intense maintenance and restoration effort to the property.

The state will spend $100,000 to clean up Karwick Nature Park, a 23.5-acre former landfill in Michigan City. The city will clean up the site and create fishing access and trails through a virgin forest.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provides federal money for the work.

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