Port Barrington Meeting Scheduled

posted Dec 30, 2016, 7:12 AM by Brian Valleskey

The traveling roadshow continues.  As we continue our goal to have all included communities adopt the approved 9 Lakes Watershed-Based Plan, we have scheduled to present at the Village of Port Barrington open Board Meeting on January 4th, 2017 at Village Hall.  The meeting is scheduled to start at 7pm.  Presentation time should not exceed 20 minutes unless extensive questioning occurs.  We will likely post the presentation within the Resources in-time; however since it will also be an evolving document which will be used in subsequent Villages, it should be viewed more as a concept template. 

We are currently in the process of negotiating a meeting time to present at the Village of Wauconda. 

9 Lakes Watershed-Based Plan Adopted by BACOG

posted Oct 19, 2016, 9:25 AM by Brian Valleskey

The Barrington Area Council of Governments (BACOG) formally approved Resolution #16-02, adopting the 9 Lakes Watershed-Based Plan.  There are four government members included in and affected by the Plan:  Tower Lakes, Lake Barrington, North Barrington and Cuba Township.  The vote was unanimous.  We would like to thank BACOG Executive Director, Janet Agnoletti who helped guide our Steering Committee members through the process.  The official copy of the resolution can be viewed from our Resource Center.

The goal of the Steering Committee will be to obtain official adoption by the partnering municipalities within the 9 Lakes area along with formal documented adoption by participating Lake Associations.  By acknowledging the 9 Lakes Watershed-Based Plan, these municipal and association partners strengthen their opportunity to network opportunities and share ideas.  It also should improve their candidacy for grant awards should the look for opportunities consistent with those documented in the EPA approved plan. 

Plan Adoption

posted May 13, 2016, 6:40 AM by Brian Valleskey

The Tower Lakes Drain Partnership (TLDP) is in the process of acquiring adoption of the 9 Lakes Watershed-Based Plan by the numerous lake groups/associations and municipal entities located within the identified geographical watershed boundaries.  Regardless of the activity level of these groups or entities, the TLDP realizes that water flows downhill and knows no boundaries.  We are therefore impacted by the decisions that each other make within the watershed.  Adoption of the plan recognizes this concept.  Adoption of the plan also provides a means as to which each group or entity can qualify for 319 or other applicable funding mechanisms to initiate water quality projects in applicable lakes or other waterways, including wetlands and green infrastructure. 

Representatives of the Steering Committee presented at the Barrington Area Council of Governments (BACOG) Executive Committee Meeting on April 26th and have received an initial confirmation of an agreement to adopt.  TLDP will draft and adoption resolution for review by BACOG to accept or submit for modification.  Once completed the document will be posted here in the Resource Center.  

Fox Waterwat Agency Acquires Grant

posted Feb 7, 2016, 10:06 AM by Brian Valleskey   [ updated Feb 7, 2016, 11:29 AM ]

Breaking News!! - The Fox Waterway Agency (FWA) was the recipient of The Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (SMC) Watershed Management Assistance Grant (WMAG)!  The WMAG is a capacity building grant awarded for the purpose of focusing in on interested stakeholders of the watershed.  This marks a significant milestone for the FWA as the agency looks to extend beyond their normal priority of navigational maintenance and make some waves in the direction of water quality improvement.

This planning effort will mark the first in what is hoped to be multiple planning efforts for the entire Chain O' Lakes from the Illinois state line to Illinois Route 176 at Burton's Bridge.  The initial focus group has been named the Greater Pistakee Lake Watershed Partership (GPLWP) and will extend from Pistakee Lake down to Burton's Bridge.  Initially left out of the 9 Lakes Initiative due to EPA HUC boundaries, the GPLWP will include Griswold Lake in Holiday Hills.  Other significant lakes include Lake Defiance, Lily Lake, Sullivan Lake, and Lake Louette, along with numerous other backwater drainageways and pertinent segment of the Fox River. 

The FWA intends to host two kickoff meetings at the Lakefront Pavilion in Fox Lake.  As of right now both dates and times are subject to change:
  • March 16th - Public Stakeholder Meeting 7-9 pm
  • March 21st - Agency Collaborators Meeting 3-4:30 pm

All meeting are completely open to the public.

Turbid Illinois

posted May 20, 2015, 5:41 AM by Brian Valleskey   [ updated Dec 30, 2016, 6:48 AM ]


December 30, 2016
The Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP) documentation is underway!  Although we have already thoroughly documented our sampling and monitoring protocols within the Year 1 data report, the QAPP process would legitimize the process in the eyes of regulatory agencies should the data wish to be extended beyond our reach.  As a reminder, Year 1 data report can be found within the Resource Center directory of this website.  Year 2 data report compilation will begin concurrently, with additional statistical breakdown, including standard deviation of capped sites, confidence testing and verification of minimum samples sizes.  Look for it sometime in February to March 2017.

October 19, 2016
TI has completed the 2016 sampling season with 103 samples.  We were able to "cap" several sites as well for a much more detailed analysis of sample information for next year's annual report.  TI has been asked to present at the next Tower Lakes Drain Partnership (TLDP) meeting (10/24/16) at 6:30pm.  TLDP usual venue of ZaZa's in Lake Barrington will be unavailable so watch for updates to the revised location.  Updates can also be obtained by following @saverh2o handle. 

July 12, 2016
TI has been asked to present at the next Towers Lake Drain Partnership (TLDP) open meeting.  There has been interest in adding additional sites for the database.  The meeting is open to the public and will be located at ZaZa's in Lake Barrington on the 25th of July starting at 6:30pm. 

July 1, 2016
Sampling is under way!  Join TI in celebrating as we close in on the minimum sample cap for both Indian and Buffalo Creek.  We will also have an edited sample collection uploaded soon which provides general instruction as how to properly acquire field samples and prep for storage.  The video is undergoing some brief editing and should be uploaded soon.  Stay tuned. 

June 1, 2016
Due to some regularly persistent rainfall in NE Illinois sampling has been delayed for the 2016 calendar year.  Although there have been windows of availability which meet the 0.50", 48 hour sampling criteria, numerous sample locations have never reached a consistent baseline water elevation and we have growing concern that turbidity will remain artificially skewed as well.  We will continue to monitor conditions going forward with the hope that the delay does not significantly limit the sampling season. 

May 4, 2016
Turbid Illinois has finalized summary materials for Year 1 data.  The above spreadsheet provides the summation of last year's data collection efforts.  Similarly, a summary document is available in the Resource Center of this website which further details the basis of the work completed and appropriate interpretation.  Year 1 should be considered little more than base collection of data for future numbers to be built upon; however the Final Year 1 Report does provide some comprehensive discussion of preliminary results.  It is anticipated that ILMA will soon provide a link for mass distribution.

October 9, 2015
Turbid Illinois (TI) has reached the 2015 goal of 100 sample.  What will happen as we continue to try and build more partnerships?  TI hopes to partner with Tower Lakes Drain Partnership (TLDP) in order to create additional interest and acquire volunteer labor. 

August 13, 2015
Turbid Illinois, co-sponsored by the Illinois Lakes Management Association (ILMA) has now accumulated over 60 samples.  Our goal is to potentially partner with other sampling efforts to create a base turbidity database for northeast IL and the rest of the State of Illinois where possible.  As funding and or availability allow the information will be released in an annual compilation with limited statistical breakdown.  The data may also be accessed by simply copying the data from the embedded table above and pasting it into your own spreadsheet program of choice.  

May 20, 2015

Today begins the start of a baseline turbidity monitoring effort in the creeks and tributaries of the lakes in the 9 Lakes Watershed Planning area.  The effort is 100% volunteer and will be posted and updated as time allows but no less than once per month.  While the focus is on tributaries within the planning area, we accept sample data from anywhere and will serve as a clearinghouse for any sample results regardless of location.  Anyone wishing to contribute sample data, please provide the location of the sample collection and sample results following the sample protocol described below:

Site (limit to 4 chars), Temp (F), Depth (of water sampled from in ft), Type of sample (GS for grab sample for example), time and date, reading, and applicable notes (we reserve the rights to edit notes)

As results grow a basemap will be created to reflect the sample locations.  While we would like to know who collected the samples, we will not post any personal information.  While we do not mandate protocol for sample collection we prefer it not be collected within 48 hours of an rainfall event greater than 0.5" in depth.  We also ask that you do not stockpile samples by providing us with more than one sample per location per week. 

Google Map

Coming Soon - GIS Data

posted Apr 16, 2015, 11:19 AM by Brian Valleskey

With the free release of Google Earth Pro along with other base level GIS viewers, public interest in mapping resources is rapidly expanding.  In the spirit of sharing we will be providing access to associated GIS data under the Resource Center.  While we maintain all the data sets shown in any of the mapping efforts shown on this website we are awaiting receipt of additional GIS data sets used in the creation of the final 9 Lakes Watershed based plan before the data files will be posted.  Lake County, IL has also just released all of their previously unavailable data through their GIS Portal.

Ordinance Review - Completed

posted Feb 3, 2015, 12:14 PM by Brian Valleskey   [ updated Feb 3, 2015, 12:51 PM ]

After nearly two years of delay, the comprehensive review of the community ordinances of Port Barrington, Tower Lakes, Lake Barrington, Wauconda, and Island Lake have been completed.  The reviews are located within the Resource Center of this website.  Since all of the communities have adopted the Lake County Watershed Development Ordinance (WDO) upon the June 2013 revision, the vast majority of the review was based upon that document.  The review employs a partial narrative followed by a checklist originally developed by EPA and since modified for the purpose of this review and others. 

The purpose of a review such as this is to identify potential conflicts or barriers to green infrastructure implementation or Low Impact Development (LID) concepts from a development standpoint initially.  Planners and some community officials are quick to point out that regardless of the conflicts or barriers, each village typically maintains a variance process for just such situations; however the variance "process" more often than not adds a degree of complication to the application and completion of a projects.  It also introduces unknowns which serve as financial impetus for developers to not "rock the boat".  Variance are in place for exceptions.  BMPs are not meant to be exceptions. 

There are more incentives than ever for Villages to incorporate Best Management Practices (BMPs) at the site design level, starting most importantly with the MS4 program which mandates the municipal entity establish these protocols.  The listed impairments within the 9 Lakes Watershed Plan are also a significant incentive to implement change within our respective watersheds.  The 9 Lakes Watershed Plan is also available within the Resource Center of this website. 

Plan Completion - Next Steps

posted Dec 3, 2014, 6:15 AM by Brian Valleskey

Last month the Tower Lakes Drain Partnership (TLDP) formally took over ownership of the 9 Lakes Watershed Plan from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP).  The final document is attached at the bottom of this post.  CMAP had received acceptance of the plan from Illinois EPA this past summer.  The passing of the torch firmly puts the plan under the control of our grass roots stakeholder groups as of November 18, 2014.  The next steps are in the watershed stakeholders hands.

Serving as the group's spokesperson, Steve Burgoon of the Tower Lakes Improvement Association (TLIA)  has been spearheading the group into further action.  While we have all come to recognize the gaps within the plan and where disconnects may exist for the everyday lake and watershed property owner, the group is focused on closing those gaps through further stewardship of the plan, stakeholder education, appropriate partnerships, and caretaking of the land through protection initiatives and responsible development.

While the daily operation of how the group will further interact is still going through determination, we invite all interested stakeholders to attend the next meeting to be at ZaZa's in Lake Barrington, starting at 6PM on December 8th (Monday), 2014.

The following link for the document will eventually be moved to the Resource Center. 

Will 4 Lakes Grow into 9 Lakes?

posted Apr 2, 2014, 9:58 AM by Brian Valleskey

So the planning process is all but complete with CMAP.  So what now?  As a stakeholder driven group this is an excellent question.  The 9 Lakes TMDL Implementation Plan is currently in Draft status and in IEPA's hands.  Although some degree of editing should be anticipated prior to this document being finalized and ready for distribution, it should be considered for all intents and purposes as a valid planning tool with plenty of backup technical information.  This group was originally conceived with the intent that the planning area would be best served under the meeting of minds that make up several different lake groups and associations with the common goals of improved water quality and environmental health, but how do we best use the document to move towards perhaps reaching these goals.  With the technical information establishing the baseline to reach the goals the groups will need to reach a consensus and partnership group that continues to act beyond the timeline of the CMAP plan and into the future.

Grouping together to emerge from the plan will be a new stakeholder group to help drive the initiatives onward, seeking to reach the common goals for the plan but also serving the individual stakeholder groups that support it.  Stayed tuned as we work to develop a common stakeholder group focused on embracing the plan, building around it, and establishing it into a doctrine which may be used as guidance for the municipalities and agencies who function within the borders of the study area. 

Ordinance Review

posted Mar 4, 2013, 4:25 AM by Brian Valleskey   [ updated Mar 4, 2013, 10:49 AM ]

Development and Re-development in Lake and McHenry Counties is regulated through the Lake County Watershed Development Ordinance (WDO) and the McHenry County Stormwater Management Ordinance respectively.  in most cases the ordinances are adopted and enforced at the community level.  The individual adopting community can then chose to add additional protection measures or stipulations.  This is important to understand for many reasons, specifically for stakeholders:
  1. Until lately these ordinances have been structured around water quantity control, not water quality control.
  2. As currently constructed there are no numerical standards of water quality to meet.  This is inconsistent with that of several other states nationwide.
  3. Restoration activities are routinely lumped with typical property development, creating barriers for individual(s) and NFP groups to to fund such projects privately or through grants.

The goal of such an ordinance review to find ways to implement agreeable water quality requirements and remove barriers to restoration and enhancement projects to best manage and recover valuable water resources environments.  The later of the two will need to be coordinated at the county level; however, the water quality additions can be implemented at the local level as there are no existing ordinances to overcome.

There are several reasons why stakeholder-citizens should be involved. 

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