Nearly 47 million domestic visitors made Chicago their destination in 2014. The southern Lake Michigan region provides rich opportunities for outdoor activities for visitors and local residents alike—boating, beach going, fishing, and more. Through information, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant strives to protect valuable natural resources that enhance quality of life for residents or contribute to making this a desirable destination.




Lake Michigan Nearshore Buoys
Buoys that monitor water conditions help scientists, managers, and residents understand how the lake works, how things look today, or how things will look in the future. The IISG buoy in nearshore waters of Michigan City, IN is proving to be a valuable resource.

Illinois Clean Marina Program
The Illinois Clean Marina Initiative encourages marina operators and boaters to protect coastal waters by engaging in environmentally sound operating and maintenance procedures. This program shares how-to information on simple steps that can prevent or reduce pollution.

Indiana Clean Marina Program
The Indiana Clean Marina Program was developed to protect inland and coastal waterways by reducing environmental impacts associated with marinas and recreational boating. The program provides information, technical assistance, and guidance.

Chicago Water Walk
Take a tour of the city’s beautiful downtown lake and river fronts. Along the way, you will learn just how important these resources are to the region through fun facts, history, biology, and more.

Southern Lake Michigan Outdoors
Whether it’s swimming, boating, hiking, fishing, or camping you’re after in the southern Lake Michigan region, this website is a handy resource.


Angler Archive
This website provides easy access to more than 30 years of recreational fishing data in southern Lake Michigan. Data includes fishing effort, harvest, harvest rates, expenditure, travel, satisfaction and preferences. Users can filter data by a number of variables to produce customized charts and data tables that can be exported.

Fish Atlas
Anglers and charter fisherman can find the best spots to cast their lines with this mobile-responsive site that calculates how many rainbow trout, lake trout, Chinook salmon, brown trout, and Coho salmon were caught in locations throughout the lake.


Simulating the implications of recreational disturbance on Karner blue butterflies (Lycaeides melissa samuelis) at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Pat Zollner, Purdue University 

The Calumet Area Ecological Management Strategy: Measuring the Non-Market Economic Benefits
Daniel McGrath, University of Illinois, Chicago

Multi-site Economic Benefits of Sediment Remediation
John Braden, University of Illinois 


Chicago Water Walk 
Illinois Clean Marina Guidebook 
Indiana Clean Marina Guidebook 
Fish Consumption Advisories

Web Links

Chicago Park District
Choose Chicago
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Indiana Deparment of Natural Resources 
Indiana Dunes Tourism
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore


Jay Beugly
Aquatic Ecology Specialist

Leslie Dorworth
Aquatic Ecology Specialist

Mitchell Zischke
Clinical Assistant Professor, Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
Purdue University
195 Marsteller Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2033
University of Illinois Extensio
Sea Grant
Purdue University