68 million pounds of toxic pollution

Lake Michigan’s importance to Illinois can’t be overstated. Millions of Illinoisans spend their summers basking on the lakeshore or swimming in its cool water, and many more rely on its thriving fishing industry for their livelihoods. Yet despite its beauty, immense popularity and importance to Illinoisans, the Lake continues to be treated like a personal sewer for the region’s largest polluters.

Unfortunately, two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions left 55 percent of the streams and wetlands in the eight Great Lake states at risk of more pollution. Even worse, in 2010, 68 million pounds of toxic pollution were dumped into waterways in these states—much of which makes its way into the Great Lakes.

Lake Michigan needs our help

Your activism and our advocacy are a powerful combination, and they’ve gotten the Environmental Protection Agency to take big first steps to protect the streams and wetlands that feed and filter Lake Michigan. But big polluters are ramping up their efforts to stop the administration from moving forward.They’re not giving up the fight, and neither can we.

We know that a win for big polluters means less protection for our treasured Lake. If we can show enough public support, the EPA will protect our waterways. That’s why we’re mobilizing thousands of Illinoisans to take a stand for Lake Michigan.

Together, we can win

Protecting waterways like Lake Michigan is a huge challenge, but we are on the verge of a major victory. Together, our staff, allies and supporters like you can help ensure that this victory remains on the books, and that our elected officials continue to work to protect all streams and wetlands here in Illinois and across the country.

Join our campaign. Add your name to help protect Lake Michigan.

Issue updates

News Release | Environment Illinois

Clean water groups highlight progress for Apple River, call for more success stories

On the heels of the 42nd anniversary of the Clean Water Act, a new report tells the story of how the bedrock environmental law has helped to restore and protect the Apple River, where citizens banded together to protect the river and Apple River Canyon State Park from efforts to construct two factory farms within the river’s watershed.

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News Release | Environment Illinois

Congress to block protections 56% of Illinois streams

56% of streams across the state could remain vulnerable to development and pollution, under a bill expected to win approval today by the U.S. House of Representatives. The waters affected flow into Lake Michigan and provide drinking water for millions of Illinoisans.

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News Release | Environment Illinois

Illinois River and other waterways key to summer fun

More than 32 million people each year visit waterways like Lake Michigan and the Illinois River, according to a new Summer Fun Index by Environment Illinois. The new fact sheet comes as summer draws to close, and as officials consider a new rule to restore protections for more than half of the state’s rivers and streams.

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Report | Environment Illinois Research & Education Center

Factory Farms, Fouled Waters

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News Release | Environment Illinois

Lake Michigan Haunted by Sewage, Mercury

Environment Illinois reveals the 10 spookiest facts about Illinois waterways just in time for Halloween - nothing short of frightening.

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