Illinois Coastal Management Program

IDNR coastal management program logoSince 2012, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Coastal Management Program (CMP) has worked to protect and enhance the environmental, economic, and social value of Illinois’ 63 miles of Lake Michigan coastline. The coastal area is a complex mix of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems that have been significantly modified from their natural state, and highly urbanized. Additionally, Lake Michigan is also a drinking water source for millions of Illinois residents so issues of legacy and emerging contaminants and polluted runoff pose significant threats to water quality.

In order to address these coastal issues, IDNR and the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois entered into cooperative agreements to share resources and expertise to develop innovative approaches to coastal management. ISTC staff, led by Deb Jacobson, are assisting CMP with pollution prevention, sustainable development, technical assistance, program development, outreach, and engagement. ISTC is working closely with the entire Prairie Research Institute on these efforts, including the Illinois State Water Survey, Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois Natural History Survey, and the Illinois State Archaeological Survey.

The main tasks are to:

  • Improve regional public shoreline and sand management by communities
  • Assist and support waterfront community and economic development groups or initiatives
  • Support and promote sustainable tourism and recreation opportunities
  • Increase the capacity of coastal communities to protect watersheds and habitats
  • Implement the Coastal Clean Waters Program
  • Support Sustainable Stormwater Management
  • Support coastal education and engagement
  • Support ravine conservation
  • Guide the identification and prioritization of coastal projects that could best achieve both community and ecosystem resiliency benefits through coastal conditions mapping and prioritization
  • Complete the development of an Illinois Shoreline Information Hub
  • Support completion and implementation of the Coastal Wetlands and Conservation Stormwater Management and Conservation Strategy (Wetlands Strategy)
  • Identify shared priorities for managing coastal and offshore cultural resources within Illinois
  • Coordinate and manage engagement with the Coastal Advisory Group and Technical Advisory Group

Funding from: Illinois Department of Natural Resources through support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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