DuPage River preservation plan presented to Shorewood Village Board
By Clare Walters For The Herald-News May 10, 2012 8:16AM
Updated: June 15, 2012 8:04AM
SHOREWOOD — Improving the water quality of the DuPage River is going to be a long process.
“It took us many years to screw up the water quality and it’s going to take us many years to fix it,” said Jennifer Hammer, ecological management and watershed specialist with The Conservation Foundation in Naperville.
Hammer gave a presentation to the village board Tuesday on the Lower DuPage Watershed Plan, which outlines strategies to improve, monitor and manage the river’s water quality. She’s presented the plan throughout the region with the intention of gaining endorsement and financial participation.
A coalition of communities already has formed, she said, and includes Naperville, Joliet, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Channahon, Romeoville and Crest Hill. The Plainfield, Naperville and Channahon park districts also have joined.
The coalition would be in charge of implementing the watershed plan, she said.
Since Shorewood is located at the end of the watershed, Hammer said it would be difficult for the village to address quality issues locally without involving stakeholders upstream.
“Working together is a more cost-effective approach,” she said.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency annually assesses the state’s waterways to determine if they’re meeting the goals of the Clean Water Act. Hammer said portions of the river do not meet the prescribed goals so the watershed plan was developed over a two-year period to address them. Shorewood and other watershed communities were active in the planning process.
“Shorewood and all the other communities have invested a lot of time in putting this plan together,” she said.
Concerns with the quality of the DuPage River come from its main pollutant — chlorides also known as road salt — lack of dissolved oxygen, total phosphorus, total suspended solids, sedimentation, fecal coliform, silver and arsenic.
The Lower DuPage Watershed Plan has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. With the agency’s approval, the plan is eligible for grant money, Hammer said.