Lower Salt Creek

Lower Salt Creek Watershed-Based Plan

Map of the Lower Salt Creek Watershed within the CMAP region.Supported by a Clean Water Act Section 604(b) planning grant from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), CMAP worked with project partners DuPage County Stormwater Management and DuPage River Salt Creek Workgroup to develop a watershed-based plan for the Lower Salt Creek Watershed – an area that drains to Salt Creek from below the outlet of Busse Lake by Elk Grove Village southward to Salt Creek's confluence with the Des Plaines River in Lyons. Located primarily in eastern DuPage and western Cook Counties, the planning area includes the Spring Brook, Westwood, Sugar, Ginger, and Addison Creek subwatersheds. The 100.7 square mile planning area spans 34 municipalities and 11 townships.

The purpose of this plan was to work with local stakeholders to develop recommendations that upon implementation will help restore and protect the water quality of Salt Creek, its tributaries, and the numerous lakes and ponds within this highly urbanized area. The plan followed watershed-based planning guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in order for implementation projects to be eligible for Clean Water Act Section 319(h) grant funding.

Public Engagement

The public was given several opportunities to participate in the watershed plan development process throughout 2017. Public informational and input meetings were scheduled every other month at locations throughout the planning area. Additionally, a series of outreach meetings with local organizations were held to solicit further input for the plan.  

Fifth Public Meeting – December 7, 2017

The fifth public participation meeting was held on Thursday, December 7, 2017, 1:30pm, at the Village of Itasca, Village Hall Second Floor Meeting Space, 550 W. Irving Park Road, Itasca, IL. The DuPage River Salt Creek Workgroup presented on the latest 2016 biological, physical habitat quality, and water chemistry data and long-term trends in the Salt Creek Watershed. There was also an update on the number and types of water quality protection and restoration projects submitted to date. An overview of the draft Lower Salt Creek Watershed-based Plan, as well as funding and technical assistance resources for plan implementation, was presented. Participants were asked to provide input on the draft plan to ensure that it reflects their projects and interests within the Lower Salt Creek Watershed. Our host, the Village of Itasca, highlighted past water quality accomplishments such as riparian property acquisitions and the Springbrook Creek Daylighting and Stabilization Project.

Call for Photos

We are looking for photos that capture what you value about living, working, learning, and playing – as well as problems and solutions you've seen – throughout the Lower Salt Creek (LSC) Watershed planning area. These photos could be used in the LSC Watershed-based Plan, on the LSC project webpage, and in presentations given at various meetings around the LSC planning area and beyond. Photos submitted before Sept. 30, 2017, will be considered for use in the draft LSC Watershed-based Plan. Photos submitted before Nov. 30, 2017, may be considered for use in the final LSC Watershed-based Plan.  
Please submit photos in JPEG format (high resolution is best), accompanied by a bit of information for each photo:
  • Subject
  • Location
  • Year and Month photo taken
  • Photographer's name/affiliation (so proper credit can be given!)
Please provide your photos and photo information to Holly Hudson at CMAP via:
  • e-mail (up to 20 MB in attachments per email) or file transfer to hhudson@cmap.illinois.gov
  • on a CD via:
    • mail to 233 S. Wacker Dr., Ste. 800, Chicago IL 60606,
    • in person at a LSC meeting

Fourth Public Meeting – October 5, 2017

The fourth public participation meeting was held on Thursday, October 5, 2017, 1:00 p.m., at the Village of Westchester, Village Hall Community Room, 10300 W. Roosevelt Road, Westchester, IL. We reviewed the best management practice (BMP) project and program ideas submitted to date and gathered stakeholder input on several other watershed-based plan requirements including an implementation schedule, interim measureable milestones, criteria for determining success, and a monitoring component. 

Third Public Meeting – August 10, 2017

At the August meeting, we refined the problem statement and goals for the watershed, learned about the water quality protection and restoration projects submitted to date for inclusion in the plan, and began addressing planning and policy recommendations as well as outreach and education concepts. Our host, the Village of Villa Park, highlighted some past and planned water quality/green infrastructure projects – perhaps providing some ideas for your neck of the watershed! We were also updated on the Salt Creek dam removal and stream corridor restoration project within the Preserve at Oak Meadows, and on the pollutant load modeling estimates. Additionally, CMAP put out a call for photos taken within the Lower Salt Creek Watershed – landscapes, townscapes, streamscapes, wildlife, plant life, BMPs, outdoor events, etc. – for potential use in the plan.  

BMP Identification Survey

The identification of potential best management practice (BMP) projects and programs is one of the most important steps of the watershed planning process. BMPs included in EPA-approved watershed-based plans become eligible for grant funding under Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act through Illinois EPA's Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program. CMAP has set up an interactive, online mapping survey where stakeholders can identify proposed BMPS and provide additional details for the inclusion in the Lower Salt Creek Watershed-based Plan. The identification of past and currently underway water-quality related BMPs is requested through the online survey as well. Click on the button below to get started!

Second public meeting – June 8, 2017

At the June meeting, we will start to formulate a problem statement and goals for the watershed and begin the process of identifying water quality protection and restoration projects (a.k.a. BMPs - best management practices) to include in the plan. Bring your ideas! BMP projects identified in an Illinois EPA-approved watershed-based plan are given higher priority for grant funding under the state's Section 319(h) Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Financial Assistance Program. Projects can include BMP construction in critical areas; nonpoint source water quality modeling; environmental or social indicator monitoring; and education and outreach activities. The Village of Brookfield, our host, will inform us about several water quality related projects they have carried out or plan to implement to help us start thinking about BMPs. We'll also get to visit a bioinfiltration cell right behind the Brookfield Village Hall that was constructed in 2004 with the support of a 319 grant.

Public kick-off meeting – April 6, 2017

The public participation phase of the watershed planning process began on Thursday, April 6, with a public meeting at the City of Elmhurst, City Council Chambers, at 1:00 p.m. At the meeting, CMAP and partners provided an overview of watershed-based plan (WBP) requirements, described the relationship of this plan to other watershed plans, and presented findings of the watershed resource inventory to date. It was also a time for CMAP and partners to gather stakeholder input on watershed-based planning goals, and work with stakeholders to identify potential watershed best management practice (BMP) projects within the watershed.


Project Documents

Watershed Resource Inventory

A draft watershed resource inventory was submitted to the Illinois EPA in February 2017.  The inventory includes an overview of the planning area's population and demographics, physical and natural features, land use, water resource conditions, pollutant sources, and land management practices.  The full plan is scheduled for completion in December 2017. 


Watershed-based Plan

In addition to the watershed resource inventory, the complete watershed-based plan includes a variety of recommendations to help protect and improve water quality throughout the Lower Salt Creek watershed.  Finalized in fall 2018, plan recommendations emphasize infill development and redevelopment, the use of sustainable development and natural resource management best practices, as well as site-level green infrastructure practices to protect and maintain sensitive water quality and aquatic habitat conditions within the watershed.  In addition to local planning and policy recommendations, planning partners and local stakeholders contributed extensively to the identification of numerous site-specific BMPs and development of watershed-wide BMP scenarios.  These include various urban stormwater infrastructure retrofits such as bioretention and detention basin retrofits, stream channel and riparian buffer establishment and restoration, and chloride reduction strategies.  Total pollutant load reductions and planning level costs for BMPs also were estimated.  Public education and outreach activities were outlined to help support plan goals and recommendations as well.  Collectively, these efforts culminated in an action plan that seeks to protect and restore water quality and watershed health through the cumulative actions of all watershed stakeholders. 


Holly Hudson, CMAP Project Manager (hhudson@cmap.illinois.gov or 312-836-8700)

Mary Beth Falsey, Water Quality Supervisor, DuPage County Stormwater Management (falsey@dupageco.org or 630-407-6680)

Deanna Doohaluk, Watershed Project Manager, DuPage River Salt Creek Workgroup (ddoohaluk@theconservationfoundation.org or 630-428-4500)

Kelsey Pudlock, CMAP Assistant Planner (kpudlock@cmap.illinois.gov or 312-836-8712)

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