November 2, 2016
For the last few months Epstein's civil and structural engineers have been partnering with Urban Rivers, a Nonprofit organization that is aiming to help clean the Chicago River by installing a 600-foot floating wetland system on the North Branch Canal, located on the east side of Goose Island behind the Whole Foods Market. Epstein's engineers have been responsible for obtaining the required Harbor Permit for the project from CDOT as well as reviewing the anchoring system for the proposed wetland system to ensure that it has sufficient structural capacity as well as calculating the load implications for the system. The selected structural anchoring system will be attached to the ground surface at the top of the river wall and sheet pile anchor will also feature a wire rope connected to the plastic mesh.
This proposed floating wetland will involve placing a 600-foot long, 10-foot wide, 12" thick plastic mesh which will be attached to the existing river wall and contain a variety of plant life which will provide a habitat for birds, fish, insects, turtles and other wildlife. This wetland will contain no soil and the plants that grow will be feed only from the nutrients that the River provides. Urban Rivers already has a small (5'x10') test wetland in place in the same proposed locale for the larger wetland, and this floating system has already produced cherry tomatoes!
Now that the design and permitting phases have been completed Urban Rivers has now entered the fundraising portion of the project and this Saturday, November 5th they are hosting their kickoff to their Kickstarter program at Martyrs', located at 3855 North Lincoln Avenue, starting at 7 p.m. At this event Urban Rivers will help raise awareness for their program, have some giveaways from Patagonia, provide food, drinks and dancing, along with a one-of-a-kind musical/theatrical experience performed by Grood, a Chicago strange-funk band, with Charles Otto, from This Must Be The Band.
Here is a link to the Event Brite profile for the fundraiser ¦ https://www.eventbrite.com/e/urban-rivers-kickstarter-kickoff-party-tickets-28434010892