Billions of gallons of sewage pollution

From summertime trips out to the beach to fishing and swimming in its waters, Lake Michigan is part of our heritage and part of the legacy we want our kids to inherit and enjoy.

Unfortunately, billions of gallons of sewage pollution are dumped into the Great Lakes every year, posing a significant health risk to people and wildlife. Bacteria levels have prompted more than 400 beach closings on Illinois’s shores every year since 2005.

It's time for the EPA to act

The Environmental Protection Agency can remedy this problem by setting new standards to curb the runoff pollution that causes sewage overflows and other beach pollution. We're urging the EPA to protect Lake Michigan.

New energy for restoring Lake Michigan

The people and wildlife that rely on Lake Michigan for drinking water, recreation and habitat are threatened by the millions of gallons of sewage pollution that flow into it every year. During the summer, beaches up and down our state’s 60 miles of shoreline are flagged for bacteria levels above state standards, and swimmers are told to stay away.

The Environmental Protection Agency is considering updating its rules to cut the sewage pollution that threatens the Lake, but polluters and their allies in Congress are trying to prevent the EPA from doing its job. That’s why we’re working to show the EPA that Illinoisans want them to protect Lake Michigan.

Together, we can win

Supporters like you make it possible for our staff to conduct research, make our case to the media, testify in Springfield and in Washington, D.C., and persuade elected officials to make the right choices.

By taking action online, you can show the EPA that the public overwhelmingly supports stronger protections for Lake Michigan.

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

Issue updates

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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News Release | Environment Illinois

Carbondale Votes Unanimously to Support Statewide Fracking Moratorium

Carbondale, IL—In a unanimous decision, the Carbondale City Council passed a resolution calling on the Illinois General Assembly to “enact a moratorium on high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing until such time as the health and environmental concerns of the people of Illinois are addressed”. In this decision, Carbondale joins the Illinois towns of Carlyle, Anna and Alto Pass and Union and Jackson Counties in taking action supporting a moratorium, becoming the largest city yet to do so.

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Report | Environment Illinois Research & Education Center

Corporate Agribusiness and America's Waterways

Pollution from agribusiness is responsible for some of America’s most intractable water quality problems – including the "dead zones" in the Chesapeake Bay, Gulf of Mexico and Lake Erie, and the pollution of countless streams and lakes with nutrients, bacteria, sediment and pesticides.

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News Release | Environment Illinois Research and Education Center

Obama Administration Announces Landmark Clean Water Law

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