River Clean Up Month
Thanks to the efforts of IPC members Frank Koehler and Scott Hays, the Illinois House of Representatives recently adopted House Resolution No. 169, declaring “The Month of September as River Clean up Month in the State of Illinois.” The Resolution was introduced by State Representative Jackie Haas of Kankakee County, who met up with Frank at the Potawatomi Paddlers recent Kankakee Watershed Conference in Kankakee.
The resolution states “rivers throughout the State of Illinois are premier natural resources, providing water for agriculture, wildlife, recreation, residential, and industrial uses,” and that “Illinois contains more miles of rivers than any other state east of the Mississippi River and Illinoisans throughout our state enjoy recreation on Illinois rivers including boating, fishing, angling, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, tubing and many other sports.” It goes on to add that “agriculture, water recreation and water related tourism are key economic drivers in the State, and the values and services associated with watersheds such as clean water and energy are critical to the State’s overall economic health” and that “tons of trash, junk and debris are annually dumped into Illinois Rivers along its banks, negatively impacting riparian wildlife, damaging both the aesthetic and biological qualities of a river”
The Resolution goes on to say that our fair state “encourages Chambers of Commerce, Convention and
Visitor Bureaus, Local Economic Development Organizations, area groups and associations,
local schools and colleges” and others interested in the health and viability of area waterways
“to organize and coordinate local clean-up activities in their area.”
The Illinois Paddling Council encourages all of our paddling clubs around the state, and even motivated and ambitious individuals, to make plans to organize cleanups from the Des Plaines to the Galena to the Big Muddy and on down to the Cache River near the bottom of our state. IPC would love to post and share your cleanup dates to encourage others to join in, and to post and share tales of your local cleanups.
Be sure and celebrate this September as our River Clean-Up Month!