By Courtney Reiss, Casey Jacobson, Brandon Bishop, Editors
Why is clean water essential for human life? Why is it important to keep the water clean in the Elburn community? What can the community do to create the best water for its citizens? These questions were to be answered by the new plan proposed by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.
In an attempt to help improve the water systems of the county, the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has created the Blackberry Creek Watershed Action Plan. The plan covers many miles of water and watersheds throughout not just Elburn, but the Kane County area. One of those areas is the Fox River Basin. The Fox River Basin is the third largest tributary in Illinois and occupies 115 miles in the state. The watershed takes up a total of 2,658 miles and is a main drinking water supply.
Along with the Fox River Basin, the Blackberry Watershed Creek makes up 73 square miles of Kane and Kendall County, providing water for a population of 60,000 people. It takes up about 32 stream miles and covers over six townships within the area.
The plan stemmed from the Federal Clean Water Act, and its ultimate goal is to provide clean water for people. Some of the objectives of the plan include reducing fecal matter, pollutants and the risk of flooding. The focus of a watershed plan is non-source pollution.
“The goal is to have clean water that is healthy for aquatic life and healthy for people,” Holly Hudson, aquatic biologist at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, said.
The Plan will mainly focus on tributaries and waterways. They are hoping that stakeholders get involved along with co-op partnership. The plan is supposed to establish goals and manage the objectives along with analyze the watershed problems. It should provide recycling, therefore voluntary recycling will be used to protect the quality of the water.
“One of the main reasons why I think we should adopt [the plan] is so we can point at it when we apply for a grant,” Erin Willrett, Village Administrator said.
The main goals are to reduce nutrient and pollutants and also the fecal contributions that are put in the waterways. The plan also states that it should minimize the sedimentation on flooding.
Hudson said that the plan is not a zoning may, land use map, or means to designate land uses. It is a full support for aquatic life use but a non-support for the primary contact (swimming).
Due to this plan, future activities will be put in place, such as technical assistance and funding opportunities. Other activities include the Blackberry Creek Watershed Coalition and resolution of support adoption.
Everyone on the Elburn Village Board approved the plan and hoped that it would be put in place for the better of aquatic life, citizens of Elburn and the future.