Peoria Lakes Comprehensive Conservation Plan
The Peoria Lakes have been a constant in the lives of Central Illinois residents for years. But as the environment changes over time, we must plan for humans and nature to coexist.
History & Geography
The Peoria Lakes are Greater Peoria’s most precious natural resource. The Lakes, which refer to the widened portion of the Illinois River near Peoria, have supported life in the Illinois River Valley for 12,000 years. The natural beauty of the river and its bluffs continue to attract people to Greater Peoria, just as it has for centuries.
Native Americans and early European settlers enjoyed an abundance of fish and wildlife, pristine water, and expansive wetlands at Peoria Lakes. However, as increasing urban development and industrialization occurred over time, water quality declined, habitat was lost and degraded, and sedimentation has steadily filled in the Lakes. Today, many areas of the Peoria Lakes are less than 3 feet in depth.
Various projects and studies have been proposed in the past for how to help preserve the Peoria Lakes, with interest from organizations around Illinois. Yet, there is no regional consensus on the course of action to take in sustaining this valuable natural resource.
The aim of the planning process is to reach a regional consensus on future Peoria Lakes conservation alternatives; concurrently, the collaborative can also gather regional support to take needed action on conservation efforts. At the end of the day, the Greater Peoria area will be well-positioned to move forward to conserve its iconic Lakes.
Peoria Lakes Basin Alliance
The Peoria Lakes Basin Alliance (PLBA) was established in 2001 to coordinate efforts to restore and preserve the Peoria Lakes. Today, the Alliance consists of Heartland Water Resources Council, The Nature Conservancy, and Tri-County Regional Planning Commission. The Alliance teamed up with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to assist in the development of a Peoria Lakes Comprehensive Conservation Plan (
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Conservation Education & Resources
- Partake In Peoria Lakes
- Peoria Lakes Basin Alliance
- Central Illinois Committee on NPDES Phase II Regulation
- How Chicago Reversed Its River: An Animated History
- Restoring Bird Habitat on the Mississippi River
- How “Levee Wars” are Making Floods Worse
- Doody-Free Water Project