Let’s Keep Fox River Life Family-Friendly and Clean – Literally
It’s been nearly a hundred years now since the Chain o’ Lakes was so polluted with trash and sewage that health officials imposed a ban on swimming, and over twenty years since the U.S. Army Corps moved to restrict all new construction along the Fox River to mitigate the environmental damage caused by increasing boat traffic. While things have improved, it won’t last unless we learn our lessons and act responsibly. As more of us discover the joys of lake life, it’s natural to want to see the area develop and thrive, but it’s important that we do what we can to preserve Illinois’ lakes for future lake-lovers.
According to the Fox River Ecosystem Partnership, the Fox River-Chain O’Lakes watershed is “home to at least 40 animals and 102 plants listed as Illinois endangered or threatened species.” But the wildlife isn’t all that’s threatened. Lake pollution impacts every resident that fishes in, lives near, or gets drinking water from it. That last one is important; hundreds of thousands of people get their drinking water from Illinois’ lakes and the waterways that flow out of them—more than 200,000 from the Fox River alone, a number only set to increase as the population of the watershed rises.
What Can Be Done?
Illinois’ lakes can be protected by the municipalities, developers, and property owners bordering Illinois’ Chain-o-Lakes and its inputs. These parties, working in tandem, have to be attentive in maintaining the watershed-sensitivity of their activities to ensure lake health.
Septic systems near waterways must be properly maintained, effluent that gets discharged into the rivers should first be stripped of ammonia and nutrients at treatment plants and, where possible, treated wastewater should be put to other uses like irrigating golf courses and other open spaces that can naturally absorb water.
New developments should minimize paved surfaces and incorporate more open spaces so that rainwater can be absorbed and naturally cleansed, rather than runoff being channeled directly into the rivers and lakes through storm sewers, causing pollution, bank erosion, and flooding.
Illinois’ lakes and rivers should also be protected with shoreline stabilization. Seawalls serve the important purpose of preventing bank erosion, which leads to clearer, cleaner lake water.
With these combined efforts, we can minimize our impact on the ecology of the lakes and make sure that the water stays healthy and safe for generations to come.
Seawalls Unlimited loves the Fox River, and serves many customers living on the Chain O’ Lakes. If you are in need of seawalls in Fox Lake or any city in Northern Illinois and Wisconsin, call us today!
2350 W. Rte. 120
McHenry, IL 60051