Category: Sustainable Community Planning

Adaptive Management Framework Approach to Watershed Implementation of Nutrient Reduction Strategies

  • Summarize model capabilities, model inputs, and simulation methods of different hydrologic and water quality models including
  • Explore uncalibrated, calibrated, and validated outputs of these models and uncalibrated ensemble modeling in estimating average annual water quantity and quality for a 41.5 km2 agricultural watershed in Northeastern Indiana
  • Provide suggestions on the selection and use of these models based
    on the results in this study

An Integrated Physical-Social-Community (PSC) Approach for Sustainable Shore Protection, Beach Integrity, and Bluff/Dune Stabilization Along Lake Michigan

The overall goals of this project are to:

  • Better understand coastal processes in terms of nearshore hydrodynamics, sediment transport, and coastal morphology under changing climate forcing in Lake Michigan
  • Help effectively communicate to stakeholders, with the purpose of promoting sustainable shore protection, increasing the integrity of beaches; and stabilizing bluffs/dunes in Lake Michigan


Beneficial Reuse of Lake Michigan’s Dredged Material in Sustainable Construction Material – Flowable Fill

The goal of the proposed pilot research study is to investigate the feasibility of utilizing dredged material collected from a single source along southern Lake Michigan area (stockpiled next to Calumet Harbor in coordination with USACE) as a substitute of sand in a unique sustainable construction material called flowable fill. The research will use laboratory-based performance tests on a set of flowable fill mixes prepared by substituting sand with different percentages of flowable fill. Then, flowable fill mixes and cylindrical specimens will be tested for flow, setting time and compressive strength using standard molding/test methods. The potential products of the proposed study are a thorough literature review report, laboratory testing results/analysis in the form of manuscript for conference proceeding, and an external grant proposal.

Building a smart water quality monitoring program to improve environmental justice in Southern Lake Michigan

The long-term goal of this project is to develop smart water infrastructure to help improve water management in the southern Lake Michigan region, particularly for communities in historically disadvantaged locations. The short term goal is to develop a program to assess contamination, hydrology, and water quality in impoverished areas of South Chicago. The specific objectives of this project are to: 1) implement flow and water quality sensors to assess pollution in select locations, 2) develop a stormwater model to assess the effects of hydraulic infrastructure and land usage on hydrology and water quality, 3) build collaborations with other water quality professionals in the Southern Lake Michigan region, and 4) create proposals for submission to other funding agencies to continue development of this program. The results are expected to increase ecosystem health, improve the resiliency of communities and economies, and enhance environmental literacy and workforce development. 

Development of Freeze-Thaw Resistant Porous Asphalt Mixtures for Southern Lake Michigan Flexible Pavements

Although widely used in Europe and Asia, porous asphalt has not been extensively used in the southern Lake Michigan region due to its poor resistance to freeze-thaw. This study aims to (i) synthesize the existing literature on porous asphalt, (ii) determine the need for porous asphalt pavements on the southern Lake Michigan coast, and (iii) develop in the laboratory a porous asphalt mixture capable of resisting freeze-thaw cycles common to this region. 

From Murky Runoff to Potable Water- Runoff Purifying Parking Lots

One of the significant issues with urbanization and a rapidly changing climate is an increase in storm-runoff and the speed of stormwater reaching the existing drainage system. The drainage system is overburdened by the amount of flows during rainfall causing flash floods. Also, the untreated runoff is released to local water-bodies. The pollutants in urban runoff can cause eutrophication that severely affects the aquatic life and creates an imbalance in the eco-system. The rationale for this research is to confront this global issue through a local solution.

The motivations for this study are 1) To develop a sustainable urban drainage system through purifying parking lots and roofs. 2) To develop a design procedure as well as materials for constructing purifying parking lots or roofs. 3) To collaborate with construction firms and stakeholders in transforming the research into practice. 4) To promote the economic, social, and environment rewards due to the sustainable drainage system to all beneficiary’s like local community, retail and commercial firms in the southern Lake Michigan area.