Bubbly Creek Restoration Plan: Deadline for Public Comments is May 15

RU and FCR Canoe Trip on Bubbly Creek, 2010 (M. Bryson)

RU and FCR Canoe Trip on Bubbly Creek, 2010 (M. Bryson)

Please read this message from one of RU’s environmental education partners, Friends of the Chicago River. Bubbly Creek is one of the region’s most famous (and notoriously abused) waterways, and now has a chance for environmental restoration. Even in its currently degraded state, the Creek supports abundant wildlife and human recreation, and is an important part of Chicago’s history as well as its sustainable future as a point of contact between humans and urban nature.

Roosevelt students and faculty have cleaned litter from the banks and waters of Bubbly Creek, and taken numerous canoe trips along its 1.2 mile length; and SUST prof Mike Bryson has written extensively about the Creek’s environmental history and prospects.

Photo: M. Bryson, 2012

Photo: M. Bryson, 2012

Please take a few minutes to read this note from FCR and communicate your opinion on the proposed restoration project to the US Army Corps of Engineers. Indication of public support for this project will make it more likely to happen!

Until this Friday, 15 May 2015 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is accepting public comments regarding their ecosystem restoration project for Bubbly Creek, a stretch of the river that most people have forgotten all about. This interesting reach of the river has a long and sordid history made famous by Upton Sinclair’s novel, The Jungle, which described life in the Union Stockyards. It is past refuse from the stockyards that makes Bubbly Creek bubble.

Despite its inglorious history, today Bubbly Creek is full of opportunity. We regularly see wildlife including beavers, muskrats, snapping turtles and state-endangered black crowned night herons along the creek and there is a ton of activity with crew teams, new parks, residential development and a new boat house which should start construction later this year.

The Army Corps’ plan capitalizes on all this wonderful activity and adds in-stream and riverbank habitat that will create a haven for wildlife in, on, and under the water. This ecosystem restoration project will: improve fish habitat, which is sorely needed throughout the watershed, provide habitat for migratory waterfowl and the black-crowned night heron and the banded killifish, both threatened species, and complement all of the other projects and uses that are planned for Bubbly Creek and the surrounding communities.

Please tell the Army Corps these are the reasons that you support this project. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers needs one last push of support to get this project moving, we are encouraging as many voices as possible to show how important this is.

Emailed comments must be received by Friday, May 15, 2015. Mailed comments must be postmarked by Friday, May 15. Comments can be emailed to chicagodistrict.pao@usace.army.mil, ATTN: Bubbly Creek Draft Report.

Please contact Anthony Cefali, Friends’ policy and planning specialist, at (312) 939-0490, ext. 15 or Kelly Fitzpatrick from the 11th Ward if you have any further questions.

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