Chicago Ecological Services Field Office

Midwest Region


Chicago Field Office

230 South Dearborn St.,

Suite 2938

Chicago, Illinois 60604
Phone: 312-216-4720

FAX: 312-216-1788
TTY: 1-800-877-8339
(Federal Relay)


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About Us

Conservation in an Urban Setting


Hine's emerald dragonfly workgroup slogs in mud to create rivulets that for future dragonfly habitat.

Members of the Hine's emerald dragonfly workgroup dig in mud to create rivulets for future dragonfly habitat below the I-355 bridge.

This U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office was established in 1991 as the Chicago Metro Wetlands Office. As the name implies, our original focus was to support conservation of wetland habitats being impacted by increasing urbanization. Since then, we have played an expanding and instrumental role in the conservation of the diverse aquatic and terrestrial habitats in northeastern Illinois.


Chicago Field Office Goals


  • Preserve, protect, enhance, and restore terrestrial and aquatic habitats for Service trust resources.

  • Promote environmental education in the Chicago metropolitan area and throughout Illinois.


Office Activities

The region and it's citizens are fortunate to have a large number of Federal, State, and local government agencies, citizens groups, non-government organizations,and scientists that have missions or interests in natural resource management, conservation, and stewardship. We are represented in, and contribute biological expertise to several local conservation partnerships. Our diverse and active program areas have allowed us numerous opportunities to provide leadership and technical assistance, or to participate as partners in local conservation issues and initiatives. Those listed below are just a few examples:


Local Partnerships

  • We are an active member and leader in the Chicago Region Biodiversity Council, more popularly known as Chicago Wilderness. This coalition currently consists of over 200 member groups interested in conserving open space, biodiversity and natural resources of the region. For additional information, visit their website Chicago Wilderness.


  • We coordinated the Urban Bird Treaty signed by the City of Chicago and the Service in March 2000.


  • We assisted the National Audubon Society with selection of Important Bird Areas in Illinois. This lead to the designation of the first 48 Important Bird Areas, located throughout the state.

  • We provide technical assistance and representation to several local watershed and ecosystem partnerships.


Endangered Species

Endangered Species Home


  • As the Service's lead office for three listed species, we coordinated recovery plans for the federally threatened eastern prairie fringed orchid, Hine's emerald dragonfly, and Mead's milkweed.


  • Provide support for The Nature Conservancy to coordinate Illinois volunteer efforts to restore the federally threatened eastern prairie fringed orchid, and monitor several northeast Illinois populations of this species.


  • Negotiated mitigation plans with local industries and corporations to protect and restore habitat for the federally endangered Hine's emerald dragonfly and the threatened eastern prairie fringed orchid.


  • Active participant in efforts to conserve and restore northeastern Illinois populations of the eastern massasauga rattlesnake, a candidate for listing as a federally threatened or endangered species.


Habitat Restoration - Partners for Fish and Wildlife

Habitat Restoration Home


  • Developed agreements with The Conservation Fund and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for Northeastern Illinois Wetland Conservation accounts that have funded over $4 million in wetland restoration activities in the Chicago region.


  • Conducted a natural resource inventory of the Chicago River, and remain actively involved in wetland restorations that will benefit this aquatic resource.


  • Work with private and public landowners interested in preserving or restoring habitat on their properties.


  • Responsible for administering grants and technical assistance for natural resources projects sponsored by citizen groups, educational institutions and local agencies.


Interaction With Other Federal Agencies

Federal Projects Home


  • Participated in development of a mitigation banking agreement for the Chicago Metropolitan Area in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


  • Worked with the U.S. Forest Service and provided technical review and comment of plans for the restoration of the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.


  • Represented the Service as a Federal partner with the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Urban Resources Partnership in Chicago.


  • Worked with the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and Illinois Department of Natural Resources to study contamination of the former Joliet Army Ammunition Plant, and planned clean up.


  • Under authority of the Sikes Act, reviewed and are assisting with implementation of Integrated Natural Resources Management Plans for The Great Lakes Naval Training Center, and the Joliet Army Training Center.



Below are links to more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the work we do.


About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Enabling Legislation


All U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Offices in Illinois


Volunteering with the USFWS


Jobs with the USFWS




Chicago ES Field Office Home


Last updated: May 2, 2016