DesPlaines Watershed

How Do Dams Affect Fish and Water Quality?

Although there are many factors impacting urban stream systems from pollution to stormwater runoff to structures in the floodplains, dams create a host of problems for stream systems everywhere. What Did the Fish Say When It Swam Into the Wall? First and foremost, dams fragment stream systems preventing fish from freely move upstream. Even a low-head dam can create a barrier to our midwestern fish, that unlike salmon are not built to jump any significant height. These barriers block access…

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Managing Detention Basins for Healthy Communities

Detention basins provide protection from flooding by capturing rain water through a series of storm sewers, holding the water for a specifically designed amount of time and then slowly releasing the water into a nearby stream. When managed well, detention basins not only address water quantity issues, but also water quality issues. A naturalized detention basin – one with native plants around the edges instead of the traditional riprap or rocks, can help: Minimize erosion around the edges, therefore not…

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Maintain Your Lawn to Protect Rivers and Streams

Many people like the look of a neatly mowed, bright green lawn. Plus, many communities and Home Owners Associations require residents to maintain their lawns to a certain standard. Traditional lawn maintenance depends on regular mowing, watering and chemical applications—most notably, fertilizers. Lawn fertilizer contains nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, that encourage turfgrass to grow quickly. However, the fertilizer we put on our lawns also affects the health of our local rivers and streams. What Lawn Fertilizer Does to…

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Travels of a Raindrop

How Stormwater Runoff Pollutes Our Rivers A raindrop that falls from the sky needs to go somewhere. When a raindrop cannot soak into the soil, it instead travels across the ground and becomes stormwater runoff. As it flows across the landscape, the raindrop picks up whatever it comes in contact with, such as pet waste, fertilizer, pesticides, road salt, oil from cars, trash and soil particles. The runoff is eventually channeled into storm drains that connect directly to rivers and…

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The Benefits of Having a Rain Garden at Home

What is a rain garden? A “Rain Garden” is simply a shallow depression in your yard that’s planted with native plants that are accustomed to wet conditions. Rain gardens help to collect and filter rainwater and allow it to seep naturally into the ground. This helps to reduce the amount of pollutants and rainwater runoff reaching our streams and can help recharge groundwater aquifers. They also provide habitat for wetland fauna and enhance the beauty of your yard. Rain Gardens are…

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Naperville, IL 60565

Phone: 630-428-4500
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jhammer@theconservationfoundation.org

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