Urban Stream Research Center
The Urban Stream Research
Center (USRC) is located on the Roy C. Blackwell Forest Preserve in DuPage
County, Illinois, adjacent to the West Branch DuPage River and Springbrook
Creek. These urban aquatic systems are key components to the research.
Prior to the construction of this facility, the United States Environmental
Protection Agency mandated a radioactive waste cleanup of portions of Kress
Creek and the West Branch DuPage River in DuPage County, requiring a basic level
of restoration. The County then obtained grant funds from the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to enhance the ecological restoration of
Kress Creek and the West Branch DuPage River further once clean-up activities
One of the projects identified in the overall restoration
plan was the design and construction of the Urban Stream Research Center where
aquatic species recovery activities could take place. The County provided
design, project management and construction oversight for this building.
Following construction, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County assumed
the maintenance and ongoing research activities at the facility.
overall goals of the Urban Stream Research Center include:
the population densities and increase the diversity of freshwater mussel and
non-game fish species that are in decline or extirpated in the West Branch
- Evaluate the success and impacts of ongoing habitat
restoration and remediation projects along the river.
- Improve the
success of urban aquatic habitat restoration and enhancement.
educational opportunities for groups interested in urban aquatic species.
Forest Preserve staff will use the new facility to monitor, raise and
reintroduce native mussels and non-game fish to local waters. Research
activities include improving the understanding of microhabitat needs for species
survival in order to improve the success of species re-introductions, as well as
evaluating the success of habitat restoration techniques in urban aquatic
As part of the educational component of the project,
DuPage County incorporated BMPs (Best Management Practices) into the design of
the facility with educational signs and exhibits in each area. The goal is to
demonstrate ways the public can help protect aquatic systems; for example, a
rain garden will show how to reduce the impacts of storm runoff.
The comment period on the Draft Environmental Assessment has
USRC Draft Environmental Assessment Figures
Draft Environmental Assessment Plans