Lake Michigan and Coastal Campaign

Lake Michigan and its coastal area are among the most biologically diverse places within Illinois. Over the past two centuries, this region has been substantially altered by human activities including urban development, habitat fragmentation, hydrologic changes,  invasive species, shoreline modifications, and persistent contaminants.  The purpose of this campaign is to maintain and enhance biodiversity in this region through actions that are realistic, achievable and implementable within the next ten years.  This campaign aligns with the geography, goals, and activities of the Coastal Management Program

Goals and Actions
  • Minimize and mitigate adverse effects of new and existing coastal development on Species in Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) and the habitats necessary to sustain populations.
  • Increase public education/outreach and the use of best management practices to prevent new introductions of aquatic and terrestrial invasive species, limit expansion of existing populations and reduce impacts of invasive species on native populations and habitats.
  • Increase abundance and richness of SGCN and other native taxa in Lake Michigan and its coastal habitats.
  • Increase the abundance and quality of functional habitats that support healthy populations of Lake Michigan’s fish and wildlife.
  • Maintain and increase, if possible, the quality and extent of rare coastal natural communities and complexes of these communities that support SGCN.
  • Maintain and/or reestablish hydrologic and biological/ecological connectivity between Lake Michigan and associated coastal wetlands and tributary streams while considering potential adverse and beneficial effects of connectivity on native populations and habitats.
  • Develop public support for Lake Michigan wildlife and fish conservation by supporting outreach activities and recreational access to Lake Michigan and coastal natural areas.
  •  Increase funding availability and consistency for habitat work in Lake Michigan and the coastal area.

Priority Places for Work

Illinois Lake Plain
Lake Michigan Ravines
Calumet Region

IDNR Parks and State-managed Sites
Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park
Illinois Beach State Park, located within the Illinois Lake Plain, contains 4160 acres, over 650 species of plants, numerous wetlands, and a biologically-diverse dune and swale community.

William W. Powers State Recreation Area  
William W. Powers State Recreation Area, the only IDNR property within the City of Chicago, is an important migratory bird site and a valuable habitat for species ranging from mudpuppies to muskrats.  In 2002, scientists participating in a BioBlitz at the site counted over 1,800 species, making it one of the more biologically diverse sites in Illinois.



Diane Tecic
Coastal Management Program Director
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
160 N. LaSalle, S-703
Chicago, IL 60601
Office Phone: 312-814-0665