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Powderhorn Lake Habitat Restoration

March 31, 2022

NOAA and partners are working through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to restore wetlands and improve fish passage at Powderhorn Lake in Illinois.

Aerial view of a lake surrounded by wetlands, with a city in the background Powderhorn Lake. Credit: Luke Franke.

Through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, NOAA is supporting an effort to restore habitat for Great Lakes fish in northeast Illinois. The Powderhorn Lake Restoration Project will restore wetlands and improve fish passage at the Powderhorn Lake Forest Preserve.

Powderhorn Lake is a 50-acre shallow pool located on the south side of Chicago. Wolf Lake, a 950-acre freshwater lake, lies to the north. The two were once part of a larger connected system of marshes, lakes, and rivers, but have since been isolated by urban and industrial development. NOAA is partnering with the Great Lakes Commission and Audubon Great Lakes to reconnect Powderhorn Lake to Wolf Lake and, eventually, Lake Michigan.

NOAA works to improve fish passage, clean up debris, restore coastal wetlands, and remove invasive species throughout the Great Lakes region. Our work helps strengthen valuable Great Lakes fisheries, restore coastal wetlands that improve the quality of our water, and provide recreational opportunities for the public’s use and enjoyment. Since 2010, we have supported 85 projects through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. These projects have restored more than 4,600 acres of habitat for fish and wildlife and opened up almost 500 miles of rivers and streams to fish migration.