Standing Up for Illinois - Office of Lt Governor Pat Quinn

Environmental Consequences of Excessive Sediments

The Illinois River is a large river ecosystem that runs entirely within the borders of the State of Illinois. The lower two-thirds of the river is the ancestral course of the Mississippi River, and, before glaciers changed the larger river’s course, it created a wide floodplain between limestone bluffs. When the smaller Illinois River assumed its current course, large areas of connected backwater lakes survived to foster abundant plant and animal communities.

The Illinois River has provided human communities with drinking water, natural resources, commercial river navigation, and served later to provide recreational opportunities for fishing, hunting, and boating. It once was a vibrant system, providing the nation with fish, waterfowl, and other commercial products, and was considered the second largest freshwater fishery in the United States. Man-made alterations to the floodplain, watershed, and the river itself, along with various forms of pollution, changed this resource and the legacy of these changes can be observed today.

The most significant impact and a dire threat to this system is the accumulation of sediment in the backwater lakes and in the river channel itself. Where many of these areas were six to eight feet deep in 1903, today most areas are less than two feet deep. Many backwater areas have vast acres of exposed mud flats in low water conditions. If action is not taken today, many of these areas will be lost to encroaching terrestrial plants and will not be easily reclaimed.

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Clean Water Calendar

/27/ Noon -1:30
Farming and the Environment - Kane County Farm Bureau, 2N710 Randall Road
Kane County Farm Bureau, 2N710 Randall Road
Welcome – Kane County Farm Bureau – Steve Arnold, Manager Presentation - Chicago Climate Exchange – Nathan Clark will talk about carbon credits Presentation Natural Resource Conservation Service - Tom Ryterske, District Conservationist on conservation plans and new information on the Farm Bill Wrap Up - Openlands – Lenore Beyer-Clow will give a legislative update on Senate Bill and upcoming projects Noon Networks are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required. Bring your lunch to eat during the program.
Fox River Ecosystem Partners -
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/30/ Noon
Land of Lincoln Corn Maze - 3262 E. 1951 Rd.
3262 E. 1951 Rd.
Weekends only. $5.00 for adults and children 5 and under are free.
Esther Funk, 815-434-4409,
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/20/ Noon
It's Our River Day - 
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/20/ Noon
Illinois River Sweep 2008 - Fulton County - Banner and Liverpool, IL
Banner and Liverpool, IL
Volunteers needed to assist with clean up of the IL River and Riverbank at both Banner and Liverpool sites. Walkers and boaters are welcome to assist.
Julia Pryor, 309-547-3711
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/20/ Noon
Meet Your River Day - Riverside Rd. near Swinging Bridge
Riverside Rd. near Swinging Bridge
Volunteers needed to remove buckthorn and other invasive species from the river bank.
Mike Collins, 708-442-3590
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/05/ Noon
Chicago Flatwater Classic - Clark Park (3400 N. Rockwell)
Clark Park (3400 N. Rockwell)
The Chicago River Flatwater Classic, the only canoe and kayak race on the Chicago River. The race begins with our Voyageur Challenge, in which 10 - 12 corporate and other organizational teams compete for the Voyageur trophy. The race then opens up to hundreds of individual racers and non-competitive participants.
Friends of the Chicago River - (312) 939-0490
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