ISGS to Provide Input for an Illinois Stream Mitigation Program

Scientists assessing impacts to an Illinois stream.Three geomorphologists from the Survey divisions of the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability (INRS) attended a meeting led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to discuss the creation of a program to assess impacts to Illinois streams and mitigation for those impacts. Impacts to aquatic habitat including streams and wetlands are federally regulated under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The new program will regulate stream impacts and oversee mitigation in Illinois in a manner similar to the program that already exists for wetlands.

At the meeting, existing methods for stream impact and mitigation assessment were introduced and a team was assembled that will formulate a stream mitigation program specific to Illinois. As part of this team, INRS geomorphologists Geoff Pociask (ISGS), Drew Phillips (ISGS), and Laura Keefer (Illinois State Water Survey) will collaborate in reviewing existing mitigation programs that have been implemented in other states as well as provide input in order to tailor the program to Illinois geomorphology. The team also includes representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Department of Transportation, and Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The team will meet over the next several months to discuss any proposed changes to existing methods and to test prototype methodology.