Assessing Progress on the 1997 Integrated Management Plan for the Illinois River Watershed

Duane Esarey, Nancy Holm, Laura Keefer, Elizabeth Meschewski, Andrew Phillips, Jeffrey Stein, Richard Winkel

Research output: Book/Report/Conference proceedingTechnical report


The Office of the Lieutenant Governor asked the University of Illinois’ Prairie Research Institute (PRI) to review and report on the progress that has been made toward the objectives of the Integrated Management Plan for the Illinois River Watershed from 1997 to 2017 based on PRI’s data and studies. Based on PRI’s review of the seven objectives of the 1997 Integrated Management Plan, Illinois has achieved mixed results. For example, we have successfully restored thousands of acres of wetlands and have reestablished habitat. On the other hand, there are some areas in which progress has stalled and where we need to do more research, such as quantifying the functional contribution of restored wetlands. Illinois has not effectively realized integrated management partly because no single program or entity is specifically charged with regular, detailed evaluation and monitoring of the status and trends throughout the Illinois River Watershed. This leads directly to one of PRI’s major recommendations: Establish an inventory of efforts that inform the stewardship of the Illinois River Watershed. This inventory would help identify research and monitoring data needed to continue to assess the health of the Illinois River Watershed. Additional recommendations include: 1.) maintaining and creating long-term monitoring programs, 2.) restoring critical habitats, 3.) reducing the negative impact of non-native species, 4.) examining and reducing contaminants, 5.) assessing groundwater resources and withdrawal impacts on the Illinois River Watershed, and 6.) implementing cultural resources protections and inventory.
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherPrairie Research Institute
StatePublished - Dec 19 2017

Publication series

NamePRI Response Team Report


  • Illinois River Watershed
  • Natural resource management
  • Water quality
  • Streambank erosion
  • Peak flows
  • Sedimentation
  • Biodiversity


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