Watershed Management Board (WMB)

For assistance with the WMB application process, please contact the appropriate SMC Watershed Representative:

Watershed Contact/Email Phone Number
Des Plaines River Jacob Jozefowski 847-377-7702
Lake Michigan Ashley Strelcheck 847-377-7710
North Branch of the Chicago River Ashley Strelcheck 847-377-7710
Fox River Michelle Pope 847-377-7730

2023 Annual WMB Board Meeting on Dec. 7 at 5:30 p.m.

At this meeting the WMB will evaluate and recommend project funding for FY2024. SMC staff will present the WMB projects submitted for FY2024, and applicants are welcome to provide additional information as desired. A virtual meeting attendance option is available for public participation online. Register to attend this meeting.

FY24 WMB Annual Meeting Packet (PDF)

About the Watershed Management Board (WMB)

The primary role of the WMB is to oversee the allocation of SMC funding and SMC staff resources for projects across the four watersheds of Lake County, Illinois. View the fact sheet.

The WMB cost-share grant program is available to the public to help fund drainage improvement and flood reduction projects. Submitted projects are assessed and prioritized based on nine benefit criteria (inter-jurisdictional, flood hazard reduction, structural damage, water quality, natural resources, nuisance flood reduction, multiple use, outside funding utilization, and phosphorous public education component). Please note, projects for individual maintenance needs are not eligible for WMB funding.  

1. WMB members and SMC staff may initiate requests for watershed funds or SMC staff resource allocations by completing the Watershed Resource Request Form. The completed form with supporting documents shall be submitted to the SMC via the Inflow portal by the deadline established in the Request-for-Proposal Packet, to be placed on the agenda for WMB consideration. All applications must be signed by a WMB member, as the project sponsor, as defined in the Request-for-Proposal packet.

2. Sponsored applicants shall cost-share at least 50% with funds or in-kind services or a combination of both. Projects in Environmental Justice areas may be allowed a reduced cost-share amount as a project-specific determination.

3. Project scoring, ranking, and preliminary SMC staff recommendations to the WMB membership are made per watershed, and projects must have a minimum score of 210 for SMC staff to recommend funding.

A portion of the annual WMB funds is allocated to the Watershed Management Assistance Grant (WMAG).

Watershed Management Assistance Grant (WMAG)

WMAG supports the growth and sustainability (i.e., organizational capacity) of local watershed partnerships in Lake County. For this program, a "watershed partnership" is defined as an inclusive, enduring, diverse, community-based group organized to identify and resolve watershed problems and issues. The work carried out by each grant recipient will target and fulfill the above purpose. A sum of $12,000 is set aside for WMAG applications, with no cost-share requirement.

WMB/WMAG Grant Request Process

1. Applicant completes the Watershed Management Board and Watershed Management Assistance Grant Request Form and provides the required attachments.

2. All funding requests are submitted via the SMC Inflow portal by the deadline established in the Request-for-Proposal Packet.

3. SMC staff review the application considering watershed fund availability, staff capacity, and grant compliance and prioritization criteria. After consulting with the applicant for any additional information, SMC staff develop a written staff recommendation for the annual WMB meeting.

4. SMC staff present the grant request, staff recommendation, and rationale to the WMB. The applicant may expand on this presentation. There is a public comment, question and answer, and discussion period, after which the WMB members vote on the SMC staff recommendations.

5. The WMB members’ recommendations are presented to the SMC in the January meeting. There is a public comment, question and answer, and discussion period, after which the SMC members vote on the WMB members’ recommendations.

6. SMC staff prepare contracts/intergovernmental agreements with applicants awarded funding by the Commission.