On Nov. 18, Chi-Cal Rivers Fund partners announced five projects selected to receive $1.1 million in grant funding that will help improve and enhance waterways in the Chicago and Calumet region. With a focus on reducing stormwater runoff, enhancing fish and wildlife habitat, and improving public-use opportunities, this investment will support community-driven projects that benefit the people and wildlife of the region. Grant recipients will match the new grant funding with an additional $2.5 million, for a total on-the-ground impact of $3.6 million.

The partnership began in 2013, and the $1.1 million announced in November marks the fund’s second annual set of grants.

The five grants will help improve stormwater management in the cities of Gary, Indiana and Blue Island, Illinois; add public park space in Chicago; enhance prairie and wetland habitat along the north branch of the Chicago River; and improve fish habitat in the main stem of the Chicago River. Collectively, the funded projects will:

  • Install more than 22,500 m2 (242,000 ft2) of green stormwater infrastructure
  • Add more than 11,000 m3 (2.9 million gal) of stormwater storage capacity
  • Add 1.6 ha (4 ac) of new public park space
  • Restore and enhance 72 ha (178 ac) of wetland and upland habitat
  • Improve approximately 1,400 m (4,600 ft) of in-stream and riparian habitat

Administered by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund is a partnership among ArcelorMittal, The Chicago Community Trust, Crown Family Philanthropies, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Joyce Foundation, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Wrigley Company Foundation. Read more.