U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Approximately 73.8 acres of wetland area along the Little Calumet River were created and/or restored to offset wetland impacts resulting from a large-scale flood mitigation project. After initial construction was completed to restore site hydrology by others, ENCAP, Inc. was retained perform extensive ecological restoration within the two mitigation locations that had become significantly degraded over time. Both sites were dominated by non-native and invasive understory brush, as well as significant stands of persistent invasive species including purple loosestrife and reed canary grass.
This work included extensive removal of non-native and weedy native brush, installation of diverse native seed and native tree installation. Starting in 2018, the areas have undergone an invasive species management program as well as monitoring and reporting to meet rigorous project performance standards. Extreme care has been taken to preserve not only the high-quality species planted on-site, but the diverse native seedbank present within the plant communities, including several species considered conservative, endangered and/or threatened in Indiana. The management program has included selective herbicide application, mowing and prescribed burning to restore and maintain the conservative plant communities.
Both mitigation sites have developed high-quality native plant community assemblages, exhibiting high floristic diversity and ecological value. The areas are expected to meet final performance criteria in 2022.