Local Issues

Addressing Woods & Wetlands' unique issues 

Nestled between Lake Michigan and the Fox River, the Woods & Wetlands region in the northeast corner of Illinois is a unique ecosystem with rare tallgrass savannas, beautiful oak woodlands, more than 200 lakes and rivers, the only remaining open-water quaking bog in Illinois, and the last remaining beach ridge shoreline in Illinois.

This unique ecosystem supports the richest diversity of native species in the state of Illinois — and more state-threatened and endangered species than any other county in the state.

The Woods & Wetlands region also is part of the Chicago metropolitan area. Consequently, our air, water, critical wetland and floodplain habitats, and other natural resources are threatened by urban sprawl, polluting industries, and industrial farming.

Key environmental and conservation issues for the Woods & Wetlands region

  • Adopting ambitious clean energy goals
  • Building climate-resilient infrastructure
  • Protecting open spaces from unsustainable development
  • Protecting the Des Plaines River, Manitou Creek, Long Lake, and other local waterways from pollutants
  • Expanding habitats critical to monarch butterflies and other pollinators
  • Reducing single-use plastics waste

Other issues of concern include moving Lake County beyond coal, oil tanker trains ("bomb trains"), and waste reduction.

Find out what you can do to protect the people, plants, and animals of the northeast corner of Illinois.

Updated February 2022