ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, celebrate the beginning of construction with a ground breaking ceremony for the Ventura Marsh Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Project, May 10 at 2 p.m. at the project site.
Media and the public are invited to attend the ceremony taking place at the hard-topped parking lot off of South Main Street (S14) in the area between the marsh and the lake. In case of rain, the ceremony will be held inside the Ventura Community Center at 4 North Weimer, Ventura, Iowa. This location is approximately three blocks from the on-site location.
The Ventura Marsha project is authorized under Section 206 of the 1996 Water Resources Development Act which provides for the development of aquatic ecosystem restoration projects that improve the environment, are in public interest, and are cost effective. The project scope is limited to Ventura Marsh, but implementation of a restoration plan in the marsh area directly benefits the entire Clear Lake ecosystem including the lake.
Ventura Marsh is an approximately 800-acre wetland complex located on the west edge of Cerro Gordo County and the east edge of Hancock County, approximately six miles west of downtown Clear Lake, Iowa.
The restoration plans call for the construction of a new controlled spillway and marsh pump station. The construction also includes dredging a water flow channel and installation of rough fish control features at the pump station and new controlled spillway. Restoration of the marsh is essential to restoring aquatic habitat in the lake.
The ground breaking ceremony celebrates the culmination of almost seven years of planning and design leading up to the start of construction. The contract for the project’s construction was awarded in March to Anderson Excavating Company of Omaha, Neb., for $2.6 million.
Project Points of Contact are: Ellen Milliron, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, (309) 794-5256; and Mike McGhee, Lakes and Rivers Coordinator, Iowa DNR, (515) 281-6281.