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Service helps coastal habitat enhancement of Illinois' Spring Bluff Preserve
Midwest Region, October 13, 2017
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A view of the coastal wetland, prairie and Savanna complex at Spring Bluff Nature Preserve, Lake County Illinois, looking southeast towards Lake Michigan from near the Illinois-Wisconsin State Line.
A view of the coastal wetland, prairie and Savanna complex at Spring Bluff Nature Preserve, Lake County Illinois, looking southeast towards Lake Michigan from near the Illinois-Wisconsin State Line. - Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lake County Forest Preserves
Wild lupine, hoary puccoon, and other species of plants that are adapted to dry sandy soils are common in the coastal savanna habitat at Spring Bluff Nature Preserve in lake County.
Wild lupine, hoary puccoon, and other species of plants that are adapted to dry sandy soils are common in the coastal savanna habitat at Spring Bluff Nature Preserve in lake County. - Photo Credit: Courtesy of Lake County Forest Preserves
An Adult Blanding's turtle from Spring Bluff Nature Preserve, with a radio transmitter attached.  The population of this species that occurs at this site is one of the largest in Illinois, and is subject to intensive monitoring.
An Adult Blanding's turtle from Spring Bluff Nature Preserve, with a radio transmitter attached. The population of this species that occurs at this site is one of the largest in Illinois, and is subject to intensive monitoring. - Photo Credit: Courtesy Lake County Forest Preserves
Wildlife Biologist Gary Glowacki (left) and Manager of Ecological Restoration Debbie Maurer (right), both of Lake County Forest Preserves were integral to implementing cooperative aspects of the Spring Bluff coastal wetland and savanna project.
Wildlife Biologist Gary Glowacki (left) and Manager of Ecological Restoration Debbie Maurer (right), both of Lake County Forest Preserves were integral to implementing cooperative aspects of the Spring Bluff coastal wetland and savanna project. - Photo Credit: Mike Redmer, US Fish and Wildlife Service
Contractors in the field completing some of the final work on the Spring Bluff Nature Preserve in September 2017.
Contractors in the field completing some of the final work on the Spring Bluff Nature Preserve in September 2017. - Photo Credit: Mike Redmer, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Work is being completed on a large-scale project to enhance coastal habitats at the Lake County (Illinois) Forest Preserve District’s Spring Bluff Preserve. The project was funded as a cost-share through the Service’s Great Lakes Coastal Program in 2014. Located along the western coast of Lake Michigan, and just south of the Illinois-Wisconsin state line, Spring Bluff is part of a larger complex of coastal wetlands and natural areas that lie centrally between, and within the greater metroplex formed by the cities of Chicago and Milwaukee. The approximately 4,500-acre bi-state complex is commonly called the “Chiwaukee Prairie and Illinois Beach Lake Plain.” While the project was underway, wetlands within this complex were formally recognized as being of global significance through the RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands.

 

“The Coastal Habitat Restoration project funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Coastal Program at Spring Bluff Nature Preserve has resulted in enhancement of 135 acres of coastal wetland and 40 acres of sand savanna habitat,” stated Debbie Maurer, Manager of Ecological Restoration for Lake County Forest Preserves. “This habitat is important for providing breeding and foraging areas rare wildlife, such as the Illinois State-listed Blanding’s Turtle, and for annual migratory stopover by hundreds of species of birds.”

The Great Lakes Coastal Program recently highlighted Urban Opportunity areas in its five-year strategic plan. This project highlights the types of initiatives and able partnerships that can be developed around wetlands in urbanized areas.


Contact Info: Michael Redmer, 847-381-2253, Mike_Redmer@fws.gov
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