The Grand Calumet River and watershed have been severely degraded by industrialization and urbanization, and yet several high-quality natural areas remain intact. The degraded condition presents numerous opportunities for pollution mitigation and ecosystem restoration. In many areas of the river and watershed, biological communities are characterized by low diversity and pollution-tolerant organisms. By establishing programs of nonnative species control, prescribed burning, sediment removal, wetland establishment and extirpated species re-introduction, the Grand Calumet can be improved to reflect some of its natural history. The dredging plan for the river presents an opportunity to coordinate simultaneous improvement and restoration plans. Possibilities for each section of the river are discussed.
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Ecological potential of the Grand Calumet River basin