Lake Michigan Watershed
Lake Michigan Watershed map (PDF format 8.3MB)
What's New in the Watershed
USEPA Grant Funding Jobs and Projects in Waukegan and Winthrop Harbor
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) awarded the SMC three Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grants totaling $1,626,751 to:
1.) Determine surface flow of the coastal wetlands in the Waukegan Harbor Area of Concern in Waukegan, IL
Glen Flora Creek flows out of the Glen Flora Country Club, through a ravine in Bowen Park and into the coastal wetland complex along Lake Michigan and the Waukegan Harbor Area of Concern. The hydrology study area includes the southern end of Illinois Beach State Park, as well as the Superfund sites of the former Johns-Manville manufacturing facility and the Midwest Generation power plant. Due to the complicated landscape history of the site, the paths of water flow to Lake Michigan are poorly defined. The project will study the volume, direction, and timing of water flow through the area and provide important data for future remediation, restoration and redevelopment projects in the area
2.) Restore Dead Dog Creek in the Village of Winthrop Harbor, IL
Dead Dog Creek is eroding and has severe bank destabilization within the Village of Winthrop Harbor, IL. This grant will fund a Phase 1 and 2 stream restoration and bank and bluff stabilization project utilizing state-of-the-art bioengineering practices on approximately one mile of the stream corridor. The goal of the project is to stop property loss, and sediment and pollution deposition to the highest quality coastal wetlands of Lake Michigan in Illinois. This project will also support local jobs during design and construction. Stormwater infiltration best practices will be demonstrated at two sites as part of the project: one residential site and one end-of-street site. These projects implement previous action recommendations of local resident, business and government partners through the SMC-led watershed planning initiative.
Dead Dog Creek is a bluff/ravine system in the northeastern corner of Lake County. From the bluff area to downstream past the ravine, the creek flows through the high quality coastal plain wetland complex of Spring Bluff Forest Preserve and Illinois State Beach Park into Lake Michigan at two outlet points. Approximately 41% of the land in the Dead Dog Creek subwatershed is developed.
The volume of stormwater runoff that is directed to the channel, invasive vegetation, and locally steep sections of stream channel in the ravine has resulted in increased erosion of the channel and banks, and sediment transport to the coastal plain and Lake Michigan. Water degradation from urban runoff is also contributing to pollutant loading into Lake Michigan.
The two USEPA/GLRI grants will use emerging and proven techniques to analyze water flow and level, to reduce the sediment based pollution, and will begin to address the volume of runoff and pollution entering the creek and eventually Lake Michigan.
Both areas flow into portions of Illinois Beach State Park, one of the most biologically diverse native landscapes in Illinois.