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Illinois River's man-made island now complete

Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT
Anthony Heddleston, an environmental engineer with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, explains on June 28 the evolution of the man-made island built by the Corps on the Illinois River near Peoria. A ceremony is planned by the Corps for Friday.

PEORIA (AP) – A man-made island in the Illinois River built to provide habitat for fish and a place for birds to call home will officially be complete this week.

The Army Corps of Engineers plans to mark the end of the 5-year project with a ceremony Friday in Peoria.

Anthony Heddlesten is an environmental engineer with the Army Corps. He tells the Journal Star in Peoria that the 24-acre island is already thick with cottonwoods and willows. Ducks, geese and heron also are being seen.

The island is built of material dredged from the river.

John Marlin of the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at the University of Illinois says he would like to see the island built up another 10 feet to accommodate trees such as pin oaks.

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