Several months ago, the city of Evanston requested and received federal authorization of $100,000 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a reconnaissance study on marina development in Evanston near South Boulevard beach. The study should be completed by the fall, and will include an assessment of boater needs as well as community reactions to the proposed project.
Spurred by the city’s moves, a group of Evanston residents has formed a new organization called Citizens for Lakefront Preservation. With high numbers of boaters up and down the Illinois lakefront looking for slips, the group fully expects to see pressure to expand marina services. However, it is clear from initial meetings organized by community members that many residents near the lakefront have misgivings about this project moving forward. Residents cited increased pollution, massive lakefill, erosion problems, and a glut of vehicular traffic as problems likely to be associated with marina construction. While no firm project proposals have been circulated, Citizens for Lakefront Preservation is continuing to watchdog the process and solicit input on the issue from other Evanston residents.