At a Glance
Building upon a successful first phase of restoration, Fort Wayne continues its dedication to revitalizing its rivers by restoring 250 linear feet of unstable banks on the St. Mary’s River in downtown Fort Wayne along the Historic Old Fort.
Over past decades, the installation of levees along the St. Joseph, St. Mary’s, and Maumee rivers, caused the rivers to become disconnected from the surrounding landscape. At the same time, development and agriculture in the region had further altered the rivers’ hydrology and caused them to become less stable. In an effort to restore function and stability to the rivers and reestablish their confluence in Fort Wayne, Indiana as a world-class destination, the City of Fort Wayne launched a Riverfront Redevelopment Master Plan to revitalize and steward more than two miles of riverfront.
After successfully developing a riparian management plan for the study area and working with the City to restore a degraded, 290-foot section of the St. Mary’s River, Biohabitats led the design and management of a second restoration project involving 250 additional linear feet of severely unstable banks. The project, which advances a vision set forth in the master plan, is located along the city’s Historic Old Fort, a reconstructed 19th century military trading post.
Biohabitats performed an evaluation of the project corridor, including a literature review for site conditions, examination of hydraulic conditions using existing information, geomorphic analysis, and limited ecological parameters including wetlands and vegetation. These conditions informed the design of the streambank stabilization techniques and riparian vegetation. The project also involved redesigning a canoe launch with boulder toe to improve recreational access while stabilizing the banks.