Program History and Timeline

VLMP Timeline

1981 – VLMP begins with 141 volunteers monitoring Secchi disk transparency at 87 lakes.

1982 – Planning Commission in Northeastern Illinois assists with VLMP coordination

  • Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, now known as the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) was contracted to oversee coordination of the program in a six-county region: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will Counties.

1984 – Planning Commissions in Southern and Southwestern Illinois assist with VLMP coordination

  • Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission (GERPDC) was contracted to coordinate the VLMP in the Southern tip of Illinois: Alexander, Franklin, Gallatin, Hamilton, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Pope, Pulaski, Saline, Union and Williamson Counties
  • Southwestern Illinois Metropolitan Regional Planning Commission (SIMRPC) was contracted to coordinate the VLMP in the Southwestern region of the state: Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington Counties.

1985 – VLMP Expands to include a water quality component at 50 lakes. Water quality parameters added were: Total and Volatile Suspended Solids, Total Phosphorus, Nitrate-Nitrite Nitrogen and Ammonia Nitrogen.

1992 – VLMP Expands to monitor the aquatic exotic Zebra Mussel and a pilot program for monitoring Dissolved Oxygen (DO) and Temperature (Temp) profiles. The DO/Temp meters proved to be difficult to maintain, so this program was dropped the following season.

1995 – Conservation 2000 passes! Funding is made available through this bill to expand the water quality program from 50 to 100 lakes and also added chlorophyll analysis.

2006 – VLMP incorporates the "Tiered Approach". The Illinois EPA also takes over VLMP coordination for the SIMRPC region.

2007 – CMAP adds Kendall County to its VLMP coordination region.

Today – The VLMP presently maintains a total of over 300 volunteers at around 150 lakes annually. Over the years, that adds up to more than 2,000 volunteers that have monitored over 400 Illinois lakes!