By Grant Parkins
Several LOCSS team members travelled to Illinois the week of May 13 to begin studying lakes in the northeastern portion of the state. The groundwork for studying lakes in the state actually began in November 2018 when Holly Hudson, Senior Aquatic Biologist for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, attended a talk about LOCSS at the North American Lake Management Society annual meeting. Holly was interested in the project and approached the LOCSS team about studying glacial lakes in her area.
Holly also connected the LOCSS team with Alana Bartolai, Water Quality Specialist with the Lake County (IL) Health Department. Together, we worked to find lakes that would be big enough to monitor surface area changes using satellite imagery that are located in areas where we could engage the general public in monitoring changes in lake height. In the end the LOCSS team was able to install gauges in 14 lakes in four Illinois counties: Cook, DuPage, McHenry, and Lake. Since the installation in those lakes, LOCSS provided supplies and instructions to the DuPage County Forest Preserve District, which installed gauges in 3 additional lakes, bringing the total to 17.
We are excited to begin studying lakes in Illinois, and are extremely grateful to Holly, Alana, the DuPage County Forest Preserve District and all of our other local partners for working with us on the project.
The location of our 17 Illinois lakes, as well as all of the lake height data that is being contributed, can be found on oun View Lake Data page.