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Dunes Creek Daylighting Dedicated

The Indiana DNR marked the completion of an award-winning project at Indiana Dunes State Park Wednesday -- the restoration of Dunes Creek to a natural stream after more than eighty years of being channeled through an underground pipe. Our Tom Lounges was there for the ceremony. The project is dubbed "daylighting" because it exposes a hidden or buried stream to sunshine. Back in the thirties, the Civilian Conservation Corps rerouted the creek through a culvert, and two parking lots were built on top.  Bringing the stream back to natural light, the DNR says, not only restores the natural environment but also helps protect against flooding and improves water quality flowing from Dunes Creek into nearby Lake Michigan.  They note there's also a dramatic change in the way it looks.

The project has been widely recognized, receiving the “Award for Environmental Excellence” from Gov. Mitch Daniels, the “Conservation and Native Landscaping Award” from Chicago Wilderness and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the “Conservation Project of the Year Award” from the Association of Conservation Engineers, and the “Jane Dustin Water Quality Award” from the Izaak Walton League of America’s Indiana chapter.

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