Monday, October 03, 2005

Village of Orland Park proposes dumping storm water into McGinnis Slough.

McGinnis Slough is located in Chicago's southwest suburbs, the main parking area is located at about 139th and LaGrange Avenue. McGinnis Slough has been perhaps the best place in Chicago to view waterfowl over the last few years, and also hosts huge roosts of waders (mainly Great Egrets) and decent numbers of shorebirds. There is also a nice population of nesting birds, including many Pied-billed Grebes, and this year a pair of Trumpeter Swans attempted to nest.

There was a story in the local paper (can't find it anywhere online)about the Village of Orland Park seeking to build a 60-inch storm water pipe that would flow directly into the slough. This pipe, which would supposedly only be used during "10-year storms," would be capable of dropping up to 70,900 gallons of dirty storm water PER MINUTE into the slough.

Thankfully, the Cook County Forest Preserve is, for once, doing the right thing and currently opposes this plan. However, I suspect that this plan will rear its ugly head again sometime in the near future, right after people have forgotten about it.

I can't say for certainty what 70,900 gallons of dirty, salt- and oil-adulterated storm water will do to the bird life at McGinnis Slough, and I for one sure don't want to find out the hard way.

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