Ecological Services
Midwest Region


Region 3 map


Great Lakes Restoration Initiative logo




Ecological Services Program in the Upper Midwest


Illinois-Iowa Field Office initiates partnership
with agriculture to make a difference

American golden plover

American golden plover

Photo by budgora/Creative Commons


The American golden plover breeds on the Arctic tundra and migrates through the Midwest to wintering grounds on campos of Uruguay and the pampas of Argentina. During the northward migration back to the breeding grounds, an estimated 60% of the global population makes one of the final stops in agricultural fields near Champaign, Illinois to feed on nightcrawlers and earthworms that are prevalent in this area. They stage here for 2-3 weeks and quickly gain weight consuming worms, which means they are fit and ready when they show up on the breeding grounds. The birds concentrate feeding efforts on patches of wet soils: remnants from times when the area used to be dominated by marshes and wet prairies.


Learn more »


Response to Spill of Dielectric Fluid from Cables in the Straits of Mackinac





Communications towers on the horizon at sunset. Photo by Chris Khamken/Creative Commons.

Twice a year an amazing variety of sizes, shapes and colors of birds fill the skies as they migrate across this region, most surviving an equally amazing variety of challenges. One such challenge is navigating around communications towers, which kill an estimated 6.5 million birds annually through collisions with towers or guy wires used in tower support.
Although 6.5 million is a startling number, there is a relatively simple fix that can be made by many tower owners that can help minimize this threat. It’s one that actually matches tower lighting to the newest lighting recommendations from the Federal Aviation Administration and Federal Communications Commission for aviation safety.


Learn more »


Response to Spill of Dielectric Fluid from Cables in the Straits of Mackinac





Straits of Mackinac from Mackinac Island, Michigan.

Two of six high-voltage electrical transmission lines that lie on the bottom across the Straits of Mackinac experienced breaks on April 1, 2018. American Transmission Company, owner of the lines, estimated that approximately 600 gallons of dielectric fluid, consisting of a mixture of synthetic mineral oils with the appearance of a light vegetable oil, were likely released.

Learn more »


Removal of Alcott Street Dam benefits Michigan’s Portage Creek





Alcott Street Dam

As part of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment for the Superfund site along the Kalamazoo River in Kalamazoo, Michigan, trustees are working to remove the Alcott Street Dam and restore about 3,000 feet of Portage Creek.


Learn more »

Kalamazoo River Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration


Partners tackle another lead mining restoration project in Missouri




Partners planted 550 small trees as part of a restoration project on a former mining area in southeast Missouri.

Trustees for Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration in Missouri, including the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Service, have begun another project in the southeast Missouri lead mining district. In December of 2017, trustees started work on the restoration of the Little St. Francis River chat pile, planting more than 550 container-grown trees at the site of a remediated lead mine in Fredericktown.


Learn more »


Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funds help acquire Door County natural area



GLRI funding helped TNC purchase boreal forest habitat in Door County, Wisconsin.

A recent purchase by The Nature Conservancy will protect nearly 400 acres of coastal boreal forest in Door County, Wisconsin. The acquisition, funded in part by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, is in an area surrounded by the Baileys Harbor Boreal Forest and Wetlands State Natural Area. Once the land is designated as a state natural area, it will almost double the size of this unique and diverse natural area. The acquisition also improves public access to the state natural area by connecting once-isolated parcels of land.


Learn more »


A River Righted



Ceresco Green Park

On July 25, 2010, Enbridge's Lakehead pipeline ruptured near the city of Marshall in southern Michigan and released toxic crude oil into a nearby wetland. More than 840,000 gallons of oil flowed down Talmadge Creek through 38 miles of the Kalamazoo River. This section of the Kalamazoo had to be closed to the public for the remainder of 2010 and all of 2011. Parts of the Kalamazoo River were eventually re-opened for recreational use in select areas in 2012, but were closed again in other areas for additional dredging to remove oiled sediments in 2013 and 2014. The people and communities close to the river, such as Battle Creek and Marshall, lost significant recreational opportunities due to the oil spill.


Learn more »

Story Map: River of Recent Return


News Archives



What We Do

Ecological Services' Region 3 Mission Statement and Goals


State Field Offices


We have Ecological Services Field Offices in each of the eight upper Midwest States. For project reviews, Section 7 consultation, or information about endangered species that you do not find on this site, please contact the Field Office in your state.



USFWS Midwest Home

Last updated: October 10, 2018