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This wetland was created by IDOT in 2000 near Orangeville, Illinois.






This wetland was created by IDOT in 2000 near Orangeville, Illinois.



The Natural Resources Unit within the Environment Section ensures departmental compliance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Illinois Interagency Wetland Policy Act of 1989 (IWPA).  Compliance includes the identification and delineation of jurisdictional wetlands.  Jurisdictional wetland determinations are made according to the 1987 Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual


The Wetlands Group within the Illinois Natural History Survey performs this work under a statewide contract with the IDOT.  Under the CWA and IWPA, the IDOT must demonstrate that all measures were taken to first avoid and then minimize impacts to wetlands to the fullest extent practicable.  Unavoidable impacts are mitigated by way of wetland compensation through either restoration or creation of wetlands.  Methods used by the IDOT to restore or create wetlands follow the Illinois Wetland Restoration and Creation Guide. In addition to the INHS Wetlands Group the Wetlands Geology Section at the Illinois State Geological Survey provides technical assistance to the IDOT in locating, evaluating and monitoring compensatory wetlands.  All IDOT wetland compensation plans include a commitment to monitor planned wetlands for attainment of performance standards.  Below are electronic copies of monitoring reports for active and inactive wetland compensation efforts throughout the state.  Departmental procedures for ensuring compliance with the CWA and IWPA are detailed in the IDOT Wetlands Action Plan, Bureau of Design and Environment Manual, Chapter 22 [section 22-4.05 (b), 22-5.05] and, located at the end of the BDE Manual, in Procedure Memorandum 33-03.

Wetland Mitigation Bank Sites

IDOT has also established three wetland mitigation bank sites, including the 830-acre Morris site located in north-central Grundy County, the 1640-acre La Grange site located in extreme northeastern Brown County and the 105-acre Sugar Camp Creek site in central Franklin County. At these sites, wetlands will be restored in advance of unavoidable losses from highway projects. Impacts within the bank’s approved service area may be mitigated at the bank. Instruments for both the Morris and LaGrange bank sites were prepared in accordance with the Federal Guidance for the Establishment, Use and Operation of Mitigation Banks. Sugar Camp Creek was, and proposals for establishment of future wetland mitigation bank sites will be, prepared in accordance with Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources; Final Rule dated 04-10-08. 

The proposed 120-acre Lawrence County wetland mitigation bank site is located in eastern Lawrence County. A draft prospectus has been prepared for the site and will be coordinated with the Interagency Review Team.


heron rookery

This heron rookery is located at the Morris Wetland Mitigation Bank Site in Grundy County.

IDOT is also sponsor of three multi-use wetland compensation sites located on the floodplain of the Mississippi River in Madison and St. Clair Counties. These sites function similar to wetland banks. Wetlands have been restored on each of the sites, prior to any loss from highway construction. Use of any of the three sites to offset wetland impacts will be determined by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources on a case-by-case basis. Links to base-line studies and to monitoring reports for each of the multi-use wetland compensation sites are provided on this page. Each of these sites will be protected in perpetuity with a conservation easement or a similar instrument and will be transferred to a resource agency or conservation organization for long-term management.

The link below will provide electronic copies of base-line studies, instruments and monitoring reports for the IDOT bank sites and multi-use compensation sites.


Hand removal of the exotic invasive buckthorn and honeysuckle shrubs at the North Chicago permittee responsible wetland mitigation site. Note the dense thickets beyond the small clearing



The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on 07-30-10 recognized the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority and the IDOT for their collaborative effort at the North Chicago permittee responsible wetland mitigation site in North Chicago, IL and presented both with an Exemplary Ecosystem Initiative award. The FHWA identifies exemplary ecosystem and habitat projects that are unique or highly unusual in their (a) geographic scope; (b) use of cutting edge science or technology; (c) high level of environmental standards; and (d) high quality of results achieved. Click here to view the full nomination submittal.



Further Information

  1. Illinois Wetland Restoration and Creation Guide

  2. Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources; Final Rule

  3. 2010 FHWA Exemplary Ecosystem Initiative – Nomination Submittal for North Chicago

  4. Illinois Department of Transportation Wetlands Action Plan April 15, 1998

Web Links

Illinois Interagency Wetland Policy Act of 1989

1987 Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual of Eng Wetland Delineation Manual.pdf

Illinois Natural History Survey

Illinois State Geological Survey Wetlands Geology Section 

Bureau of Design and Environment Manual

Wetland Findings


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