Wetland Restoration & Preservation Plan

Project Overview

The Lake County Wetland Restoration and Preservation Plan ("WRAPP") identifies and assesses functional significance of existing and potentially restorable wetlands in Lake County, Illinois. The WRAPP report and interactive online planning tool are available to provide a wide audience of end-users with the decision-making support to help prioritize wetland restoration and preservation efforts. These resources are linked on the right side of this page.

This information can be used to guide planning decisions throughout the County and provide a basis for prioritizing wetland restoration and preservation efforts based on specific "wetland functions" (e.g., flood water storage or water quality improvement).  Preserving existing wetland functions will help retain many important green infrastructure benefits.

The WRAPP was funded through a USEPA Region 5 Wetlands Program Development Grant. 

Wetland Classification

SMC classified wetlands based on the Landscape, Landform, Waterbody, and Water Flow Path (LLWW) hydrogeomorphic wetland classification scheme developed by the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service. This classification is the foundation for the assessment of wetland function and provides a basis for comparison of wetlands across the County.

Functional Assessment 

A Technical Advisory Group convened to select the functions (services) of interest and the level to which Lake County wetlands perform those functions relative to other wetlands in the County.  The WRAPP assesses 13 functions. The WRAPP also estimates the degree to which those functions might be restored for potentially restorable wetlands.

Examples of Wetland Functions

Wetland functions are properties that a wetland performs naturally. Typically, they relate to a physical and/or biological process. Sometimes, functions are linked to processes within other habitats connected to the wetland or water body. Functions may have economic, social, or cultural benefits to humans or provide environmental or ecological value. Not all wetlands perform all functions, nor do they perform all functions equally well. The table below identifies wetland functions assessed in the WRAPP.
Hydrologic Functions Biodiversity Functions Water Quality Functions
Flood Water Storage Native Fish Habitat Carbon Sequestration
Stream Baseflow Maintenance Unique Wetland Resources Nutrient Transformation (P-focus)
  Stream Shading  Sediment and Other Particulate Retention
  Waterfowl Habitat Shoreline/Stream Bank Stabilization
  Wetland-dependent Bird Habitat (Other)  
  Wildlife Movement Corridors  
  Woodland Amphibian Habitat  

Field Verification

SMC conducted field verification of the functional assessment data at 48 wetlands to confirm and calibrate the functional assessment methodology. Field sites included a cross-section of wetland/water body types, with emphasis placed on the types with the highest percentage of occurrence in each of the four major watersheds of Lake County.

Technical Report & Decision Support Tool

The Technical Report (Volume 1) and Appendices (Volume 2) describe WRAPP development and methodology and summarize its findings. The Decision Support Tool is an online mapping application that allows users to view the WRAPP results in an interactive environment.  These products are currently in draft form and are available to the general public.

For information about the WRAPP, contact Mike Prusila, 847-377-7713.