SPRINGFIELD – For the 5th consecutive year, Illinois is celebrating a very popular natural resource that flows through the state in every direction. Governor Pat Quinn and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) are inviting the public to participate in the 5th annual “It’s Our River Day” on Saturday, September 19.
Events involving river clean up, education and recreation will take place at more than 50 locations throughout the state, and public participation is encouraged. For a list of events, visit www.cleanwaterillinois.org.
“Rivers and water quality are too important to take for granted. ‘It’s Our River Day’ is about celebrating the wonderful river system we have here in the Land of Lincoln and how everyone in Illinois is connected to a nearby river,” said Governor Quinn.
In addition to the wide array of activities and events planned along Illinois waterways, the IDNR will allow free fishing within state parks on September 19 in conjunction with “It’s Our River Day” activities. For a list of IDNR sites, visit the website at www.dnr.state.il.us.
“It’s Our River Day” is observed each year on the third Saturday in September, with the goal of increasing awareness and appreciation of the Prairie State’s waterways. It was created by the Illinois River Coordinating Council (IRCC), which Governor Quinn has chaired since 1997.
“I have enjoyed working with Governor Quinn and the Illinois River Coordinating Council on improving the quality of rivers throughout the state,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller. “‘It’s Our River Day’ highlights the positive contributions of rivers to the State of Illinois and ensures that streams will be enjoyed by future generations.”
In just the last two years, “It’s our River Day” has included more than 120 events throughout the state helping to improve and protect Illinois rivers and to educate the public about their importance.
Facts About Rivers in Illlinois
• There are over 87,000 miles of rivers and streams located within or on Illinois’ borders.
• Illinois is bordered by three major rivers: the Mississippi to the west, the Ohio to the south and the Wabash to the southeast.
• Other large rivers with major drainage basins include the Rock, Fox, Des Plaines, Kankakee, Illinois, Sangamon, Kaskaskia and Big Muddy rivers.
• The Mississippi, Illinois, Ohio and Kaskaskia rivers are equipped with locks, dams and maintained channels, serving as important transportation routes for commercial navigation and economic development.
For more information on specific “It’s our River Day” events near you, log on to www.cleanwaterillinois.org.