Illinois Sand Management Beneficial Reuse Pilot

Why Our Work Is Needed

Recreational beaches around the Great Lakes have experienced significant erosion due to high water levels, more intense storms, and other conditions. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recently selected six sites within four municipalities to be eligible for pilot participation and receiving sand for restoring beaches:

  • North Chicago – Foss Beach
  • Lake Bluff – Sunrise Park Beach
  • Glencoe – Glencoe Beach
  • Evanston – Dog Beach, Greenwood Street Beach, Lee Street Beach

Under this federal pilot project, each of the municipal park districts must decide whether they wish to receive the dredged sand from the source, outside Waukegan Harbor. To support the four communities, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Management Program provided funding to Delta Institute and GEI Consultants. This companion municipal project assists the four municipal park districts in making independent decisions on:

  • Independent sand sampling
  • Sand placement design
  • Coastal habitat design
  • Public outreach through each of the above three tasks
Independent Sand Sampling | Click to Read More

To provide the public with the best possible information, an independent Field Sampling Plan (Plan) is being established to guide the number of samples, locations, and chemicals to be tested in the source material (mostly sand). Source material from the Waukegan navigation channel will be tested for grain size, asbestos, and PCBs, which, prior to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cleanup completion in the last decade, existed in nearby areas. The Plan has been developed by GEI Consultants.

Sand Placement Design | Click to Read More

If the park districts decide to proceed with sand placement on their beaches, they will need a plan for where to place the sand in a way that maximizes retention during periods of variable water levels. Sand placement design work will be performed by coastal engineers at GEI Consultants.

Coastal Habitat Design | Click to Read More

Lake Michigan coasts are among the most important ecologically places in our region. Experts at GEI Consultants will prepare coastal habitat designs for each of the park districts to enhance ecological restoration and birding, as recreational activities that complement beachgoing.

Public Outreach | Click to Read More

Public outreach will be conducted to support decisions about independent sand testing, sand placement design, and coastal habitat design. Virtual community forums will be held for three key phases of the work: Project kickoff (estimated timeframe: mid-fall 2020); Project follow-up (est. timeframe: early 2021); and Project capstone (est. timeframe: summer 2022). Outreach is performed by Delta Institute and GEI Consultants.

The municipal project will last two years, from fall 2020 to fall 2022. Three virtual public forums will be hosted, including a virtual community kickoff meeting in fall 2020.

Please use the “Contact Us” form if you have any questions or comments about the project.

Upcoming Events

This section will be updated frequently to reflect the most recent calendar of events. Meeting materials from previous events can be found in the the Resource Library below.



October 14, 2020 | Municipal Coordination Meeting

The meeting agenda will be posted soon.

Resource Library

Use the library below to access project materials and related resources. This library will be updated frequently as the project moves forward.
ResourceAuthorDate PostedType
Waukegan Harbor Dredging Project PageU.S. Army Corps of Engineers10/7/2020Website
Waukegan Harbor Field Sampling PlanGEI Consultants10/23/2020PDF


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