pollution

Big Smallmouth Bass

Meet Your Neighbors: A Year in the Life of a Smallmouth Bass

By Pat Kirmse Spring A warm March rain raised the temperature of the Fox River to 47 degrees and a 15″ smallmouth bass starts to stir. She is five years old and has survived another Illinois winter, the coldest and snowiest in her life. Fortunately there were no heavy midwinter rains that would have blown … Read more

tbrushes2

Plastics are Breaking the Laws

By Gary Swick, President At our Yorkville river cleanup, I realized that my very full bag of trash was exceptionally light. It lacked the usual heavy glass bottles and pieces of metal. The contents were primarily cigarette butts, plastic bottles, food wrappers, and miscellaneous other plastic products like polystyrene (Styrofoam). These items end up as … Read more

Elgin Love Our River Day volunteers

It Takes A Community

By Gary Swick, President Remember Hilary Clinton’s 1996 book, “It Takes a Village,” and her 2016 Democratic National Convention speech reminding us that alone we can neither rear a healthy family, build a business, heal a community, or lift a country by ourselves? Collaboratively, we do better when we pool our skills, talents, perspectives, and … Read more

Long Lake

Saving Long Lake – Part Two

By Gary Mechanic, Executive Director Late last year one of the final pages of a decades long battle to save Long Lake (in Lake County Illinois) came to a close when Illinois’ Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a settlement with Baxter Healthcare that will end that company’s decades-long pollution of Long Lake. Behind the Attorney … Read more

Long Lake

Saving Long Lake – Part One

By Gary Mechanic, Executive Director Late last year one of the final pages of a decades long battle to save Long Lake (in Lake County Illinois) came to a close when Illinois’ Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced a settlement with Baxter Healthcare that will end that company’s decades-long pollution of Long Lake. Behind the Attorney … Read more

Pocahontas_by_Simon_van_de_Passe

Pocahontas, PCBs and Reputation

By Art Malm, P.E., FOFR Director Recently I was at Disney World with my granddaughters who told Pocahontas how much they loved her song “Just Around the River Bend”. “Do you live near a river  bend?” Pocahontas asked. “No, we live in Elgin” Kayla replied. “Oh” said the Princess, “You live near the Fox River.” … Read more

Gary Swick and Otter Creek Middle School

Resolve to Be a Better Friend

By Gary Swick, President In December’s newsletter, I offered the Fox River’s holiday gift list. I also promised that I would suggest a few resolution ideas to help you to give the Fox River what  it wants. The resolutions should be specific, achievable, relevant, measurable, and personal. We are all friends of the Fox River, … Read more

Smallmouth_bass

Stardust, Mercury and Smallmouth Bass for Dinner

By FOFR Director Art Malm, P.E. Since I’ve received no dam questions this month I’ll take this opportunity to start a conversation about contamination of fish in Our Fox. As Joni Mitchell famously sang at Woodstock, and astrophysicists now explain, we are all stardust. Every element in our body, all the carbon, oxygen, phosphorous, calcium … Read more

river Santa

The Fox River’s Gift List

By Gary Swick, President  Many years ago I was given a wood carving from an anonymous source. The accompanying note read: “This is the River Spirit. It only speaks to children and a few select adults. You are one of those.“ So I was sitting by the Fox River wondering what it has on its … Read more

St. Charles WWTP discharge

How Does the River Flow?

From time to time Friends of the Fox River receives questions thru our website or Facebook page about the river, pollution and other watershed related issues. Here’s a question we received that FOFR  Director Art Malm researched and answers. J. Faust asks: Do you have an estimate of the volume the many water reclamation districts … Read more