Framework for Project Identification and Restoration of Watersheds in the Illinois River Basin: Senachwine Creek Case Study

Bill P. White

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Erosion and sediment deposition has been recognized as a main environmental problem in the Illinois River Basin. Project identification in watersheds and streams and implementation of restoration is necessary to reverse the effect of past disturbances and the continued trend toward further ecological and infrastructure degradation. Watershed assessments which identify on-the- ground natural resource restoration targets are well received by the public and by public institutions in charge of funding ecosystem restoration efforts. The Scientific Surveys from the State of Illinois are performing assessment and evaluation of specific watersheds in the Illinois River Basin in order to facilitate implementation of the larger goals of the Illinois River Basin Ecosystem Restoration Plan. Watershed assessments include use of existing data and collection of new data. The assessments includes analysis of existing Geographic Information System (GIS) data, collection of digital aerial imagery of specific sub- basins selected for survey using consensus driven criteria, and field data collection and analysis of geomorphological and biological indicators. Data is being used specifically to locate, characterize, and prioritize multi-objective restoration projects that reduce erosion, restore habitat, and protect overall ecosystem health. Assessment using a low level aerial camera attached to a helicopter with a synchronized Global Positioning System allows for relatively rapid identification of the location and general nature of targets such as critical erosion areas, potential wetland restoration sites, and channel re-meandering opportunities. More thorough biological and geomorphological field assessments are then performed to understand local reach scale erosion issues and systemic causative factors. Senachwine Creek, a direct tributary to Peoria Lakes in the central part of Illinois is used to illustrate the assessment approach. The IGA discussion will briefly describe the framework and criteria for selecting sub-basins, watersheds, and sub-watersheds for the aerial assessment and field data collection efforts and utilize the Senachwine Creek watershed as a case study of specific data interpretation efforts.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2008
EventIllinois Groundwater Association 2008 Spring Meeting - East Peoria, United States
Duration: Apr 8 2008Apr 8 2008


ConferenceIllinois Groundwater Association 2008 Spring Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityEast Peoria


  • ISWS


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