This project aims to restore marsh, wet meadow, wet prairie, mesic and dry prairie, mesic and dry oak savanna, wet forest, flat woods, and open woodland habitats, restore natural hydrology and geomorphology, improve water quality, increase plant density and diversity, and improve habitat for fish and other aquatic fauna including numerous species of birds within the 785-acre site.
Most streams and wetlands throughout the Chicago Region have been degraded through clear cutting timber, agriculture, and urban development. Restoration of the Dutch Gap Aquatic Complex and its associated floodplain, wetlands, and fens would help to restore relatively rare resources. The proposed project will restore wetland (204 acres), prairie (239 acres), savanna (312 acres), and stream (21 acres) habitats for native flora and fauna indicative of what was present 200 years ago. On a macro scale, the proposed project would provide valuable stopover areas for migratory birds using the Mississippi flyway but would also increase connectivity by adding patches of habitat within the northern Lake County area, lessening the distance species have to travel over inhospitable areas of agricultural or urbanized lands to forage, shelter, and/or nest.