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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 5:06 am

Verbatim: State program helps Fort Wayne river bank

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources issued the following news release today:

Work to stabilize a bank of the St. Marys River in Fort Wayne along Headwater Park and the Old Fort has begun.

The DNR’s Lake and River Enhancement Program (LARE) awarded the project $132,000 over the past two years for design and construction. Another $80,000 came from the Great Lakes Commission.

Flooding on the St. Marys River has eroded a steep bank by Headwaters Park and the Old Fort at a rate of about 1 foot per year. In addition to losing approximately 10 feet of park land over the last 10 years, the eroded soil has been deposited into the river.

The project combines quarry stone, soil and native plants to stabilize the bank, create a riparian buffer, and prevent further erosion. It is the first of many projects recommended by the Riparian Master Plan through the city’s Riverfront Master Planning process.

"Our rivers serve as a point of destination as we enhance quality of place amenities and economic development opportunities to move Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana forward in the right direction," Mayor Tom Henry said.

The bank stabilization project is expected to be completed by the end of April 2017.

LARE grants are funded through the LARE fee paid by boat owners annually when they register their boats with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The grants allow for the completion of projects that would be difficult for many local organizations to fund on their own.