Wetland and Buffers Program
DuPage County has been recognized for having a comprehensive
The primary mechanism to implement the wetland and buffers
program is the DuPage County Stormwater and Floodplain Ordinance (Ordinance). Since many wetland functions are difficult and
expensive to replace, the Ordinance requires that an applicant avoid or
minimize impacts to wetland if possible. Wetland impacts are be replaced, or
mitigated, in the same watershed. Impacted buffer functions are replaced in
kind. Wetland replacement ratios and buffer widths are based on the quality of
a wetland which is determined by analyses of habitat and vegetation quality,
and the presence of Endangered or Threatened Species.
DuPage County developed wetland maps in the late 1990s.
Since that time, development in the County has significantly changed the
landscape. In 2015, the County completed a modernization of these
maps. This will allow the County to provide more accurate information to
residents, developers and businesses. In addition, these maps may be used as a planning tool. They can be viewed as a layer on the County's GIS maps.
The Wetland Banking Program was adopted by the Stormwater
Management Planning Committee and County Board in 1993 to give the development
community the option of offsite wetland replacement while keeping the significant
benefits of wetlands in the same watershed as the impact. Wetland bank fees are
based on a detailed cost estimate unique to the project. When a wetland
mitigation bank is not available, developers may choose to pay a fee of
$175,000 per acre. The fee is used by the county to construct the replacement
wetland in a future bank project when one becomes available.
The County has several wetland banks and wetland mitigation
projects in various stages of development. The Cricket Creek and Downers Grove
projects have both been completed. Springbrook Prairie is in its maintenance
phase, and two other projects, located in West Branch and Danada Forest
Preserves, are currently in design.