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1. The rip-rap portion of the shoreline stabilization project at the Wonder Center – North Park, as well as around Strom and Yacht Club Islanads, is now complete. Seeding / planting of native vegetation to further help stabilize shoreline soils and protect water quality will be implemented soon. This project was largely funded by an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency grant. In order for the rip-rap to effectively protect the shoreline, it needs to stay in place, so folks visiting the islands should refrain from re-arranging the rock, or having rock tossing contests.

2. Another reminder that the MPOA will be conducting a temporary drawdown of the lake, slated to roughly begin at the beginning of October 2019 to facilitate needed maintenance of the Wonder Lake Dam spillway. Any in-lake equipment that lake front landowners need to have moved from the lake for the winter should be completed by the beginning of October.

3. The drawdown will also provide an opportunity for lakefront landowners to conduct clean-up activities along their frontage, or possibly implement shoreline stabilization practices. A number of lakefront landowners have already begun the process of checking with the regulatory agencies to determine if their proposed activity will require any permits. Simple clean-up of exposed shoreline areas will not require any permits, but any digging, importing / placing of materials will likely need regulatory permit approval or clearances.

4. It’s important to remember that ANY new shoreline stabilization project, or repair of an existing shoreline practice, will likely require regulatory permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and McHenry County or Village of Wonder Lake, as discussed here: Acquiring permits can take a number of months, so now is the time to begin planning any shoreline stabilization activities planned to coincide with the Fall 2019 drawdown. It should be noted that the MPOA is now requiring that any permit for a new or replacement seawall must have a survey prepared by a Professional Land Surveyor, to determine whether encroachment onto the MPOA-owned lakebed is proposed.

5. Lake users are again reminded that heavy rainfall events have the potential to temporarily degrade water quality in the lake. The McHenry County Department of Health conducts regular water quality sampling at Wonder Lake swimming beaches during the summer, with results posted here:

6. The Nippersink Watershed Association is considering applying for a new Section 319 grant from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency in July 2019. If this grant application were approved in early 2020, the earliest funds would be available would be mid-to-late 2020, and up to 60% of the total project cost (including design, permitting and construction) can be obtained from the 319 grant. This could be an opportunity for subdivisions to apply for cost-share funding to implement shoreline protection at their lakefront parks. Subdivision parks are being targeted as they generally have long shoreline frontages as well as adequate space for rip-rap to be delivered and placed from shore, without causing damage to septic systems, landscaping or fences. If a subdivision is interested, contact me at Any party wishing to apply for a grant needs to contact me by July 1st.

7. The regularly scheduled “3rd Saturday” Nippersink Watershed Association Merchant Creek workday has been pushed back one week to Saturday, June 22nd, 2019 to clear invasive brush and weeds from a portion of the Merchant Creek stream corridor. This volunteer work is being done in advance of an upcoming IEPA Section 319 funded stream stabilization project to help minimize the significant amounts of sediment that this parcel has delivered to Wonder Lake over the past decades, due to a lack of proper management by the previous landowner. Please note the meeting location being used for this workday. Volunteer’s will meet at 8 am at the north end (dead end) of Park Drive, just north of Wooded Shores Drive. Park Drive is the second side street off Wooded Shores Drive coming west from East Wonder Lake Road. As always, volunteers are welcome, as volunteer time counts towards an ICECF grant also obtained by the NWA.