QUINCY -- A project designed to restore Quincy Bay is in its formative stages.
"The bay is (filling with silt), and if nothing is done, it will eventually go away ... and turn into marshland," said Rob Ebbing of the newly formed Quincy Bay Area Restoration and Enhancement Association, or QBAREA.
QBAREA is teaming with the city, Quincy Park District, Quincy Boat Club, Great River Economic Development Foundation, Quincy Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Mississippi Valley Hunter and Fisherman Association to try and restore Quincy Bay north of the Pier Restaurant.
The goal is to restore the bay through ecosystem restoration, habitat creation and sustainable reduction of sedimentation.
Ebbing said the ideal depth of the bay should be about 10 feet, but in most areas it is "2 to 3 feet."
QBAREA hopes to raise $30,000 by the end of first quarter 2019 to fund its organizational needs.
"We're starting to build a war chest now," Ebbing said.
He said estimates indicate such a project will cost as much as $20 million, most or all of which would be funded through governmental grants in association with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and similar organizations.
Ebbing said an unofficial outline of the project would include two to three years' worth of studies and working through the necessary legalities, then "several more years" of construction.
"There's no starting date yet," said Ebbing, who explained QBAREA is developing and making proposals for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to examine.
"This is one of the largest natural bays on the Mississippi," Ebbing said. "If we don't do something now, the clock is ticking."
A fundraiser for QBAREA will be held Saturday, Nov. 24, at the Oakley-Lindsay Center. A dozen tri-state area restaurants and caterers will be serving more than 2,400 pounds of pulled pork in an event titled "Pigfest."
Two bands -- Off the Wall and Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters -- will perform.
Admission to Pigfest is $15. Food will be served from 5 to 9 p.m. The bands will play from 5:30 to 11 p.m.