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CHIWAUKEE PRAIRIE ILLINOIS BEACH LAKE PLAIN
A Ramsar Wetland of International Importance
ChiwaukeePrairieIllinoisBeachLake Plain—AWetlandofInternationalImportance

TheRamsar Conventionis designating 3,716 acresoflandownedbyeightpubliclandowners
alongLakeMichiganinsoutheastWisconsinandnortheast Illinois asaWetlandofInternational
Importance.ThedesignatedareastartsnorthwithintheVillageofPleasantPrairie and
continuessouthto theCityofWaukegan,including:KenoshaSandDunes,ChiwaukeePrairie
StateNatural andScientific Area,CarolBeachParks andOpen Space,SpringBluffNature
Preserve,Fossland/NovotnyPark,DeadDogCreek,IllinoisBeachStatePark andNature
Preserve,HoshaPrairie,BowenParkandGlenFloraTributary.
TheLakePlainMeetsThreeRamsarDesignationCriteria
Thiscoastallandscape,covering approximately 15milesofcoastline,contains thehighestqualitycoastalduneandswale
ecosystemintheregion.TheLakePlain supportssixglobally rare representativesof fen,sedgemeadow,freshwater
marshandseepwetlandcommunities, aswellascriticalsandsavannaanddryprairieuplandhabitat.Thepubliclyand
privatelyprotectedecosystemconnects14differentcommunitytypes,seven ofwhich arewetlandcommunities:
1) TheLakePlaincontainssixrepresentative communitytypesofexemplaryhighquality, whicharedesignated
withaglobalconservationstatusrankingofimperiledorvulnerable.
2) TheLakePlainsupportstwofederallyprotectedwetland dependentspecies,includingtheonlyhighlyviable
populationofeastern prairiefringedorchid (Platantheraleucophaea) intheregion,aswellas 1,236acres
designatedascriticalhabitatareaforthefederally endangeredpipingplover(Charadriusmelodus).
3) TheLakePlainservesasimportantbreedinghabitatformanywetland dependentbirdspeciesandprovides
criticalmigratorystopover habitatforatleast310migratorybirdspecies.AportionoftheLakePlain(2,039
acres)isdesignatedanImportantBirdConservationAreabytheNationalAudubonSociety.
Further,theLakePlainprovides additionalnoteworthyecologicalandsocio-economicservices:
• TheLakePlainwetlandsandassociateduplandprairieandsavannacomplexprovidehabitatforover930native
plantspeciesand300animalspecies,including63state protectedspecies.
• TheLakePlainprovidescriticalecosystemservices,includingprotectionofLakeMichiganwaterquality.Five
majortributariesandseveralminortributariesflowthroughtheLakePlainpriortoreachingLakeMichigan.
• TheLakePlainprovidessignificanttourismopportunitiesforlocalcommunities,supportingovertwo million
visitorsayear,engagingcommunitymembersinvolunteerconservationstewardship,andprovidinghighquality
examplesofcoastalwetlandcommunitiesforeducationandscientificresearch.
TheLakePlainConservationPartners:
ChiwaukeePrairiePreservationFund
CityofWaukegan
Exelon/ZionSolutions
FriendsofIllinoisBeach
IllinoisDepartmentofNaturalResources*
Johns Manville
LakeCountyForestPreserveDistrict*
LakeCountyHealthDepartment
LakeCountyStormwaterManagementCommission
TheNatureConservancy
SoutheastWisconsinRegionalPlanningCommission
UniversityofWisconsin-Parkside*
TheVillageofPleasantPrairie*
VillageofWinthropHarbor*
WaukeganHarborCitizens’ AdvisoryGroup
WaukeganParkDistrict*
WisconsinDepartmentofNaturalResources*
ZionParkDistrict*
MidwestGenerationLLC
*LandownerswithintheRamsarDesignationArea