9 Lakes- Lakes and Pond Management Presentation (Co-Sponsored by ILMA)

The Illinois Lakes Management Association (ILMA) partnered with the 9 Lakes Watershed Partnership to put on a 3 speaker presentation at Lake Barrington Village Hall Tuesday May 21st.  Speakers included Keith Gray of Integrated Lakes Management, Mike Adam of the Lake County Health Department Lakes Management Unit (LCHD-LMU), and Faye Sinnott, watershed coordinator of the Spring Creek-Flint Creek Watershed Partnerships.  The presentation is attached below:

Lakes and Pond Presentation

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Upcoming Lakes & Watershed Venues

Although the weather outside might be telling us something different, we are approaching prime time for conferences and seminars.  The Illinois Lakes Management Association (ILMA) annual conference will be held this year in Crystal Lake (https://ilma-lakes.org/conference).  The conference runs from the 14th-16th at the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn.  Those interested can register online via the link above.  This Blog (IllinoisLakes Blog) is directly sponsored by ILMA, stay tuned for additional updates such as presenters and conference breakdown.

The Fox River Summit will once again be held at Veterans Terrace at Echo Park in Burlington, WI on March 22nd (http://foxriverecosystem.org/summit.htm).  The summit is an excellent one-day endeavor for all things related to the Fox River starting in southern Wisconsin down through northern Illinois prior to its confluence with the Illinois River.  The program always includes a variety of speakers from both states with the common theme of collaboration for the betterment of the entire watershed.

~p0sted by Admin

ILMA – Call for Presenters

ILMA is gearing up for the 2019 Annual Conference.  The call for presenters is below:

The Illinois Lakes Management Association (ILMA) is hosting its 34th Annual Conference at the Holiday Inn Crystal Lake Conference Center in Crystal Lake, Illinois from March 14 through March 16, 2019. We are looking to fill out our conference sessions with talks and presentations from professionals, teachers, students, or others with detailed knowledge on issues associated with research and management on lakes, waterways, watersheds, and fisheries. Download PDF

We are looking for presentations to be approximately 20- 25 minutes. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Managing Stormwater in Municipal Areas
  • How Stormwater Impacts Water Quality in Lakes and Streams
  • Planning Lake and Stream Restoration Projects
  • Dam and Levee Safety, Management, and Permitting
  • Fishery Research
  • How Land Use in Watersheds Affect Fish Populations
  • Granting Implementation
  • Principles of Hydrology
  • Nutrient Cycling
  • Shoreline Protection and Enhancement
  • Invasive Species Studies and Management

In addition to presentations, a special poster session will be held during the conference. If interested in providing either a poster or being a presenter, please submit abstracts by December 31, 2018.

For questions about presentations or posters, contact Dick Hilton at ilma@ilma-lakes.org

Identifying Worthwhile Stewardship Ventures

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to identify worthwhile stewardship ventures and opportunities is to evaluate the concept of stewardship at its roots.  The idea of stewardship stems from an ethic that centers around the responsible planning and management of resources, in this case environmental resources.  Lakes of course are just one component of our natural environment but cannot be isolated in their care.  Looking more specifically at environmental stewardship, Wikipedia defines it with terms such as conservation and sustainability.  Further referencing the great Aldo Leopold and the land ethic concept.  For those of you who have never read the Sand County Almanac, what I consider and environmentalists staple, I highly recommend it.  If it does not stir some emotion of an intertwined environmental bioverse nothing will.

Back to the to point behind this blog post.  We all have places to go, people to see, politics to complain about.  Of all the ventures we may choose to support on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, how well do we connect with our water resources or environmental stewardship of lake, streams and watersheds?  It’s a difficult question to answer for some.  As a consultant I attend a number or watershed and lake meetings, sit on numerous boards, committees or the like.  You begin to see a lot of the same faces.  The ones you see time and again work well with each other, smile and greet each other, and have bought into the process of these grass roots programs a long time ago, nor

The new faces (or the one you may not recognize) are often their to complain about something not being done, are in unfamiliar territory, or are ignorant to any sort of working processes.  If the ‘workgroup’ is lucky, with the right words there may be a convert inside this individual.

So while stewardship efforts may have a skeletal framework with agency framing, the backbone and muscle of the groups reside in the individuals who comprise them.  These grass roots effort groups provide a number of stewardship efforts and opportunities for anyone who is willing to sit down and listen.  So since you are reading this blog, we assume you are interested in one of a few things:

  1. Your local lake.  Either its long term care or its immediate needs.  You lack a local lake group or are unsure of the capability of your local group to function properly.
  2. Your local water body.  This may take the form or a common water that you periodically frequent or maybe the creek your kids play in nearby.  You have seen something that bothers your and want to know where to go with questions.
  3. HOA commitments.  HOA boards are often ill prepared for dealing with open space issues and need some sort of homing beacon.
  4. Park districts, NFP patrons, or other open space agencies.  Open to new ideas, networking ideas.

At this point we do know from independent surveys that people do believe that the internet is the is the best resource for information which is not to say people are misinformed or under informed, but let’s just say you get back what you put into it.  This is likely to be a future blog piece. 

In northeastern Illinois where stewardship groups are somewhat dense, the structure consists of one or more of the following which can often overlap with the geographic interests:

  1. Watershed Groups:  If you need to find the watershed that your local waterbody of interest resides in, the easiest resource is the EPA Surf your watershed webpage.  It can be down for maintenance routinely, so check back if you cannot find it.  Additionally we are trying to create a repository here as well.  If you do not know what a watershed is, search this blog and there are descriptive blog posts as well.  The internet is also a somewhat viable source.  Just as always with the internet.  All information should be check against more than one source.
  2. Lake or waterbody group: Some lakes, creeks, and streams have their own advocacy groups.  If you are having trouble finding one specifically.  Please contact ILMA and we’ll do our best to help you out.  Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start.  For example in Lake Zurich, IL, there is the local lake group which is responsible for the management of the lake itself.  The local sustainability group is known as the Ancient Oaks Foundation.
  3. Regional advocacy focus groups.  Examples of these could be the Conservation Foundation, Openlands, Barrington Area Conservation Trust (BACT), Chicago Wilderness are only a few examples.  Each of these groups may represent a slightly different geographic range or focus, but each have worthwhile efforts.

The best fit may be more than one group depending on your interest level.  Some have found it good to hear a different voice from time to time.  Visiting a alternative group or neighboring group can also be enlightening.  Prior to forming the 9 Lakes Watershed Group, several of the lakes belonged to the 4 Lakes Initiative. Some of the best interaction the group felt was the interaction with the other lake groups and the different approaches they each took to solve intermediate lake problems.

Keep the following things in mind.  Lake groups tend to focus on in-lake problems.  Watershed groups look from the top down to solve water quality problems.  Lake groups can sometimes become lake-centric meaning they don’t realize that the problems they are treating can stem from the watershed.  Throwing money at a in-lake result that begins at the watershed level can be like throwing away money.

Regional groups while looking at a more watershed level approach also tend to integrate policy issues which is important when looking at institutional change that can have a ripple down effect.  These policy practices can provide changes which when integrated with land use policy.  Once in place these policies can provide land development and local government officials the needed tools to enact change at a watershed scale.  Watershed level changes impact the quality of our surface waters.  Therefore, you can see how these levels interact.

There is a lot of knowledge to be gained by interacting at any and all levels.  Of course the interaction also requires time.  Above all is the Illinois Lakes Management Association (ILMA) which works to network our membership with all these groups at our annual conference, POD sessions, and web pages (this blog, our facebook page, and our general internet page).

You may find a lot of familiar faces operating at several different levels.  This is not by accident, but often by design.  This includes ILMA and its partner groups.  We encourage interaction at as many of these levels as possible, including attending available conferences or workshops these groups may have to offer.  These may also offer exposure to vendors and additional expertise.

Look no further than the upcoming ILMA Annual Conference (March 22-24), the Fox River Summit in Burlington, WI (March 23rd) for some of these opportunities.

~p0sted by Admin

Call for Presenters

Illinois Lakes Management Association
2018 Conference
Parke Regency Hotel & Conference Center
Bloomington, IL
March 22-24, 2018
The Illinois Lakes Management Association is hosting its 33rd annual conference in 2018 in Bloomington, Illinois from March 22nd to March 23th (with workshops held on the 24th). We are looking to fill out our conference sessions with talks and presentations from professionals, teachers, students, or others with detailed knowledge on issues associated with lake, waterway, and watershed management.  Presentations should be approximately 20 minutes with time for questions following. Our conference sessions include the following topics:

– Managing Stormwater in Municipal Areas
– How Stormwater Impacts Water Quality in Lakes and Streams
– Planning Lake and Stream Restoration Projects
– Dam and Levee Safety, Management, and Permitting
– Fishery Production in Hyper-eutrophic Lakes
– How Land Use in Watersheds Affect Fish Populations
– Granting Implementation, Managing Projects from Inception to Close-out
– Principles of Hydrology
– Nutrient Cycling in Lakes
– Managing Lake Shorelines
– Promoting Sustainable Development
– Invasive Species Management

In addition to presentations, a poster session will be held on Thursday. If you are interested in either providing a poster or being a presenter, please submit abstracts by December 15 th , 2017. Abstracts should not exceed 250 words and be submitted [online] at http://www.ilma-lakes.org/call-for-presenters or [emailed] to Bryan Cross at bcross@prairieengineers.com. Audio and video will be provided by ILMA. Notification of abstract acceptance will be provided by ILMA no later than December 31 st .

ILMA to begin survey process

The Illinois Lakes Management Association (ILMA) is in a constant process of trying to better understand the needs of it constituency: lake managers & their associated groups, the lake-stakeholder decision making process, watershed group function, and ILMA’s role in an advisory capacity.  Although this is a role ILMA has provided since inception of the association, the course of these surveys is to drill down deeper into the overall cross section of lake & surface water users and dissect the results top to bottom.  This can help ILMA better understand and serve both individuals and groups with educational content from presentations, seminars and workshops.

Soliciting information is tough for any group.  Response rate for typical surveys is often less than 25% and can often be as low as 10% depending on the target audience.  At any rate, the information is necessary for ILMA to continually provide valuable information and determine who is receiving the information and how it is being used.

In 2014, the ILMA Board of Directors (Directors) attempted an open forum for discussion at their annual conference in DeKalb as an attempt to receive “fresh material” or ideas from attendees of the conference.  The forum constituted a session within the conference that could be attended by anyone at the conference including vendors and industry experts.  Upon an open request for topical input, ILMA direction, or general questions, a roomful of nearly 100 individuals ranging from lake and industry experts to general lake property owners, not one unprompted response was provided.  Because of this, it is uncertain that if such solicitation of information is best approached in isolated conditions or in smaller groups.

At this time ILMA will be focusing on reaching out to constituent groups such as those listed above; however an additional focus is warranted to better serve the total user base.  Most lake groups consist of members of varying education or participation levels.  Some are extremely dedicated, including those who have invested personal time to expand their understanding of the lake and watershed environment.  This person may often lead the group while the remain board or stakeholder membership may consist of local residents simply looking to lend a helping hand.  With this survey ILMA intends to extend into this secondary group and explore not only group leaders but the entirety of the membership that make up these groups.

Test survey groups will be explored later this month with representative pilot surveys and the results and surveys will be refined as the work progresses.  The initial surveys will likely be hand or email distributed to help improve effectiveness.  Subsequent delivery of surveys will very in presentation from what is suggested above to possible internet delivery.  Test Group 1A is the Tower Lakes Improvement Association (TLIA) and Bangs Lake Advisory Committee (BLAC) of Tower Lakes and Wauconda, respectively.

~p0sted by Admin

Lake Count WMB Grants Available

On September 12th, the Lake County Stormwater Management Comission (SMC) announced the availability of funding of another round of their Watershed Management Board (WNB) Grants.  These have been available on a yearly cycle.  The official announcement can be located here:

https://www.lakecountyil.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=923

This grant cycle includes another round of their Watershed Management Assistance Grants (WMAG) routinely focused for capacity building of watershed protection groups.

The grants have a cost cap upwards of 20K and can be reduced downward from that value depending on the competition of other applicants and merit of the provided application.  One of the main objectives of these grants is to identify partnerships, so a good application should include a thorough investigation into who may all benefit from the project and an emphasis through letters of support when available.

The grants are separated by one of the four main watersheds identified in Lake County, Illinois; the Fox River, The Des Plaines River, the North Branch of the Chicago River, or Lake Michigan.  These grants are significant because they can defray costs of smaller projects; specifically those for schools, municipalities, or even individual property owners who typically have limited funds.  These are great for shoreline restoration and pond retrofits.

There is a much more thorough breakdown of the application process located on the link provided above.  Grant applications are due on the 6th of October and do require signature from a WMB representative identified in the submittal packet.

We hope to have a more complete Blog Post regarding grants later in the year.

Best of Luch from IllinoisLakes and the Illinois Lakes Management Association (ILMA)!

~p0sted by Admin