Bald Eagles in Peoria and on the Illinois River

Thanks to Karen Scott for sharing the photo above.

Photo above by Christine Albrecht. 
More of her Photos at: 


Forty years ago the rivers and streams of the United States were open sewers.  We collectively spent a great deal of money and effort to clean up our sewer plants and improve our conservation farming practices.  And we purchased substantial amounts of open space and flood plain, improving the environment.

Congratulations, America.


The Federal Government passed the Clean Water Act in 1975, committing the country to a massive effort to make our rivers and streams fishable and swimmable by 1985.  We did not make that ambitious goal, but we substantially improved the water quality and environment throughout the county - as shown by increasing bio diversity of our country.  Bald Eagles are back.

One of the first major efforts that I undertook as a planner in Joliet, Will County was to work on the Clean Water Act. The Federal Government provided substantial funds for the effort.  We planned some big events on the DesPlaines River in downtown to popularize how nice it would be to have  a clean river to replace our rather ugly Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal.

I planned on jumping into the canal, swimming from one side to the other and back to show how great it would be.  Marla Gursh, our environmental planner, suggested that I first contact our Health Department. Thanks again, Marla.

The Health Department told us their protocol when someone fell into the River.  They listed the number of shots and medicines they recommended, and how they recommended that every orifice be cleaned with alcohol. 

I skipped the swim.  But we can all be proud that we have substantially improved our air and water quality.

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