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Lake County Stormwater Management Commission  

Lake Michigan Watershed

Dead River Subwatershed
Dead River Watershed map (PDF format 8MB)

Bull Creek Streambank Restoration Project

Project Description:
SMC is working with the Bull Creek Stakeholders Association (BCSA) and the Village of Beach Park to restore an approximate 1,500 linear foot stretch of Bull Creek, a major stream channel in the Dead River watershed, which is tributary to Lake Michigan. The project area is located immediately upstream of Illinois Beach State Park within a ravine that has wetland seeps with uncommon woodland plant communities.

The Village occupies the majority of the drainage area to the creek, which includes residential and commercial land uses. A large portion of the drainage area to the creek was developed prior to the enactment of current stormwater management practices. The change in land cover from rural to suburban resulted in larger volumes of runoff and increased flows in Bull Creek, which has downcut, and widened; resulting in erosion, increasing sediment loads, and loss of high quality plant communities.

Grant funds from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Sustain Our Great Lakes Program and the Illinois Coastal Management Program supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency are being matched by additional cash and in-kind contributions provided by the SMC to plan for and complete the restoration of Bull Creek. The Village of Beach Park, BCSA and property owners along the creek are also providing in-kind and financial support.


Project Location:
Bull Creek between Sheridan Road and Illinois Beach State Park in Beach Park, Illinois.

Project Work:
     Streambank stabilization and restoration using bioengineering practices.
     Riffle installation and enhancement of existing riffles.
     Stream native plant buffer management and enhancement.

What to Expect During Construction: 
     Construction (and noise) during work hours.
     Delivery and stockpiling of stone, erosion control blanket and other materials on-site.
     Equipment access:
         Access routes will include timber mats in sensitive areas (i.e., wetlands) to minimize disturbance.
         Access routes will be restored following completion.
    Limited tree removal (access routes and work areas - mostly green ash and box elder). 
    Weekly  progress updates via email and posted on the website.

Project Schedule:
     June 2015: Landowner Agreements and Permits
     June 2015: Invitation to Bid
     July 2015: Award Contract
     Aug-Sept 2015: Construction
     Sept 2015: Plant Installation

Restoration Plan Design

Meeting / Workshop Presentations:

May 26, 2015 Bull Creek Restoration Plan and Guidance for Managing Streamside Properties
Bull Creek Restoration Plan 
Stream and Ravine Function

April 10, 2013 Bull Creek Restoration Project Meeting
Bull Creek Restoration and Stabilization Project 

For More Information on Best Management Practices for Stream and Yard Management:

Conserve Lake County - Conservation @ Home Program

The Conservation Foundation - Conservation @ Home Program

Midwest Invasive Plant Network

Openlands - Landowner Guide to Ravine and Tableland Preservation

University of WI Extension Service - Rain Garden Manual

SMC Riparian Area Management Guide

Draft Dead River Watershed-Based Management Plan: 

For questions about the draft plan please contact Patty Werner, 847.377.7717.

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Contact Information
For information on the Dead River watershed, contact:
Patty Werner
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