Illinois River Basin Restoration Comprehensive Plan With Integrated Environmental Assessment
The Illinois river, described by early explorers as a "boundless marsh", has long been characterized by the productivity of its extensive backwater and floodplain complexes. However, over time the ecological health of the system has declined significantly due to the combined effects of sedimentation, altered hydrology, and other modifications to the basin. Despite these declines, the Illinois River Basin represents one of the most productive resources in the Midwest and has a high potential for restoration. The National Research Council identified the Illinois River as one of three large-floodplain river systems in the lower 48 states with the potential to be restored and to approximation of their outstanding biological past.
This report represents a final response to the Comprehensive Plan portion of the Illinois River Basin Restoration authority required by Section 519(b) of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 2000 and to the Illinois River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study conducted under Section 216 of the 1970 Flood Control Act as a review of the completed 9-Foot Channel Navigation Project. Section 519 also provides ongoing authority to elevate and implement Critical Restoration Projects. This report assesses the total basin restoration needs and makes recommendations regarding continuing implementation under the existing authority and conducting some further evaluations of ways to improve implementation. The Corps of Engineers and Illinois Department of Natural Resources (sponsor0 worked in close coordination with numerous other state and Federal agencies in developing the plan.
The Comprehensive Plan provides the vision, goals, objectives, desired future, and identifies the prefered alternative plan to restore the ecological integrity of the Illinois River Basin System. This plan documents the need for and potential scope of the four components called for in Sec 519 (b)(3): a restoration program; a long-term resource monitoring program; a computerized inventory and analysis system; and a program to encourage sediment removal technology, sediment characterization, sediment transport, and beneficial uses of sediment. An implementation framework and criteria are also presented to guide the identification, selection, study and implementation of restoration projects, monitoring and adaptive management activities, and further system investigations.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Illinois Department of Natural Resources, "Illinois River Basin Restoration Comprehensive Plan With Integrated Environmental Assessment" (2007). J.R. Black Kankakee River Materials. 73.
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