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Brownfield redevelopment: a hidden opportunity for conservation biology

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Westphal, Lynne M.; Levengood, Jeffery M.; Wali, Alaka; Soucek, David; Stotz, Douglas F.

Year Published

2005

Publication

In: Bengston, David N., tech. ed. Policies for managing urban growth and landscape change: a key to conservation in the 21st century. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-265. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station. 21-26

Abstract

Brownfields - lands that are idle due to concerns about contamination - are often prominent features of urban areas. Conservation in an urbanizing world must take brownfields into consideration because regions of heavy industry can harbor areas of ecological significance. The Calumet region of northwest Indiana and northeast Illinois is one such place, where the Calumet Initiative, a partnership of government, industry, academia, nonprofit groups, and local residents, is working toward economic and ecological sustainability. Here partners have developed a research and action program that integrates social, biological, and physical issues to move toward a sustainable future. We discuss three current research projects: planning that considers biodiversity as well as redevelopment goals, research that investigates the viability of state-threatened and state-endangered species, and a social asset mapping project. Using a marsh in Calumet that hosts a rookery of the state-endangered black-crowned night heron, as well as other species of concern, and that borders a potential superfund site, we will outline this integrated research and action program and its wider application for conservation biology.

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Citation

Westphal, Lynne M.; Levengood, Jeffery M.; Wali, Alaka; Soucek, David; Stotz, Douglas F. 2005. Brownfield redevelopment: a hidden opportunity for conservation biology. In: Bengston, David N., tech. ed. Policies for managing urban growth and landscape change: a key to conservation in the 21st century. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-265. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Research Station. 21-26

Last updated on: December 15, 2007