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An invitation to present a vision for the future of the Fox River

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This is an invitation to present a vision for the future of the Fox River on Friends of the Fox River's upcoming "Sunset Vision Cruise". On Sat., Sept. 23, from 6p to 8p we've rented one of the St. Charles Paddlewheel boats to produce a unique watershed event.

This cruise is about more than enjoying the beauty of a fall sunset on the river. We're on a quest for an inspiring and compelling vision for the future of the Fox River itself. So we're inviting our environmental partners, state and county elected officials, local mayors, Chambers of Commerce, government agency officials, and others, to present their vision for the future of the Fox River and its watershed.

We hope that by "crowd-sourcing" and sharing visions from a broad variety of viewpoints throughout the Fox Valley, from the headwaters to the confluence, we can inspire a larger agreement about what the river needs, and find new ways to work together toward a common vision for a healthier watershed and a cleaner, more vibrant river. You get a free cruise in return for presenting your vision for the future of the Fox in three minutes or less.

And whether or not you can join us, we hope you'll help us get the word out by sharing our Facebook posts and telling your constituents, friends and neighbors. Here's the link to our Sunset Vision Cruise webpage on our website: https://friendsofthefoxriver.org/paddlewheel-cruise/

 

Contact: Gary Swick swick@mc.net, 815 370 0026 to reserve your speaking spot.

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Thanks for posting the info.

 

I'd really like to attend something like this but I don't know what to say that wouldn't come off as self-serving!

 

"Don't F-up a good thing!" would be my advice.

 

However, since economic "development" interests commonly override environmental interests, any praise for the awesomeness of the Fox River as a trophy smallmouth fishery would probably fall on deaf ears.

 

Case in point, the monstrosity that's currently being built along the river's edge in St. Charles where the original Blue Goose market used to be. Very disappointing to see so much riverfront and green space replaced by concrete and steel.

 

"Progress..." for whom?

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I understand your frustration about "economic development interests" and one man speaking out for "a self serving" opinion. But you aren't alone in that self serving interest, there are many of us. But on the issues of keeping our waters clean for our fishing enjoyment carries a greater good for everyone, Canoers, kayakers, nature lovers etc. all benefit from clean water.Most importantly, nature itself benefits.

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Eric brings up a great point.

Given the fact that we reside in a primarily urban environment where 4.1% of the land statewide is publicly owned, private enterprise is going to develop among their privately owned parcels.

Barring any real efforts towards green infrastructure, there isn't a whole lot of concern by developers for how their projects are going to affect the fishing, let alone clean drinking water and naturally pleasing aesthetics in a riverine environment.

I don't need to tell the original poster that the days of "The Fox" running around plugging drain pipes is a thing of the past.

A concerted effort among community and private interests to see that the economic development is done in a less invasive manner might be the only "best practices" approach available to us.

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Eric brings up a great point.

Given the fact that we reside in a primarily urban environment where 4.1% of the land statewide is publicly owned, private enterprise is going to develop among their privately owned parcels.

Barring any real efforts towards green infrastructure, there isn't a whole lot of concern by developers for how their projects are going to affect the fishing, let alone clean drinking water and naturally pleasing aesthetics in a riverine environment.

I don't need to tell the original poster that the days of "The Fox" running around plugging drain pipes is a thing of the past.

A concerted effort among community and private interests to see that the economic development is done in a less invasive manner might be the only "best practices" approach available to us.

I hate to think what our Forest Preserve lands would now be like today if developers had been able to get their avaricious hands on them.

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Unless you were baiting me into another discussion entirely, Ron.

Hard to tell with you sometimes.

i don't see how you can infer anything from my post unless you're still upset over last spring's Rock Creek rainbows

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John, I'll be glad to see you there.

 

I've known John a long time, he's a genuine dude and has been at this stream restoration thing a long time. When he talks about it his enthusiasm is infectious.

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Seems like for a while, things were looking positive for our waterways. Despite the seemingly great smallmouth fishing, I get such a different vibe now and feel like the Fox River is on borrowed time.

 

Laws and policies that once stood to protect our waterways are being repealed and forgotten. Our state is in a massive budget crisis, the IDNR is understaffed, population around the river valley is ever-increasing, more and more land is being paved over -- increasing opportunity for additional nonpoint-source polution, and the effects of global warming are on the rise. In the background, there's always the downstream threat of bighead and silver carp. Even worse, possible war on the horizon.

 

Technology and the availability of information are at an all-time high, yet socially and economically, we are basically sliding backwards. Action has been replaced by arguments.

 

Our water willow plantings are a nice thing, but I don't think we can hang our hat on them.

 

I'm hoping as an organization, we are unified in pushing for low-head dam removal to make a widespread, long-term impact on the health of the river. This does not support an agenda, it is supported by SCIENCE. The fact that the river is still choked by death-machines over a hundred years after they stopped serving their purpose for mills, etc. is ludicrous.

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Very well thought out response, as always.

My only regret during my tenure as conservation director is that I didn't find a way to get the ISA behind those dam removals more.

So many battles....so little time.

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I agree about the dams, Eric but I think the plantings deserve credit for doing something that has a small but positive effect. Bob Rung told me years ago that the Fox rivershed was imperiled by development in the long run, perhaps small habitat improvements can help the resource while we fight to save it.

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I was very impressed with Eric's heartfelt post. The best we as individuals can do is to support one or more good environmental organizations and respond to their calls for action.

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Did anyone from the ISA attend? Wondering if there's a recap from this event...

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I went - it was interesting to hear the ideas of many who have some contact with this issue in their jobs. I sent a short recap for the current bulletin which should show up soon. Some of our rivers limited recovery is attributable to the decrease of industrial uses of river water. Less jobs but less pollution. Ultimately the river will suffer under new development, paving ect. but we should see better treatment of sewage with time. Another trend that adds tremendous non point source pollution is all the fertilizer & pesticides put on lawns. No means of controlling these sources unless we reach enough public understanding that minimal use of these products produce effects - excess use just pollutes.

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Thanks for the update John, and for your time attending.

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