Ninety thousand tons of Illinois River sediment is on the way to Chicago for the creation of a new park. Sediment is slowly choking the river. Fourteen million tons a year fills shipping channels and ruins habitat. So environmentalists thought of dredging up some of the sediment and shipping it to places where it can be used in construction. Governor Pat Quinn, in East Peoria to announce the plan, credited a central Illinois man for coming up with the idea:
"His nickname is the Mud Man from Peoria, he's with us here today, his name is John Marlin, he came up with the idea of dredging up the mud where it doesn't belong at the bottom of the river, where it's too shallow, putting it on barges, and getting it all the way to where the mud is needed."
One spot is the former site of a steel mill on Chicago's South Side. The sediment can be spread over steel slag to create fertile soil. Governor Pat Quinn's office says 114,000 tons of sediment from earlier phases of the park project is already covering 25 acres. Now, an additional 60 barge loads is making the 163-mile trip.
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