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Join NGRREC and 1 Mississippi June 24 for Wood River Watershed Day

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Article by: Louise Jett, ljett@lc.edu

EAST ALTON – The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC℠)  and 1 Mississippi invite local citizens to participate in Wood River Watershed Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at Steve Bryant Community Park in Bethalto.

“The Wood River Watershed begins north of Alton between Brighton and Bunker Hill, before emptying into the Mississippi River in East Alton,” said NGRREC RiverWatch Coordinator Matt Young. “Wood River is on the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ‘impaired’ streams list as a result of channelization, loss of stream-side habitat, and urban/storm sewer runoff. This is a great opportunity for citizens near the Wood River Watershed to be stewards of the freshwater resources we depend on.”

Wood River Watershed Day will involve water quality monitoring and a trash pickup on the East Fork of Wood River and Rocky Branch, both tributaries of Wood River.

Water quality monitoring activities will take place in the morning from 9 a.m. to noon, followed by trash cleanup from 1-3 p.m. Lunch will be provided from noon to 1 p.m. for the first 30 participants to sign up for the cleanup portion of the day.

Wood River Watershed Day is open to groups, families and individuals to attend. Participants can attend the full day or choose an activity and contribute. Water quality data will be entered into the Illinois RiverWatch public database to track stream health trends. The event is free, but registration is required at https://goo.gl/2tmdwC.

1 Mississippi was established in 2009 to organize people dedicated to protecting the Mississippi River into a national constituency of River Citizens. River Citizens live in all 50 states, take simple actions to improve the River and advocate for River protections to local and national decision makers. Those interested in learning more about becoming a River Citizen can visit www.1mississippi.org.

Founded in 2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, NGRREC is dedicated to the study of great river systems and the communities that use them. The center aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds and their associated communities.

To learn more about NGRREC, visit www.ngrrec.org. Those with questions about Wood River Watershed Day can contact Young at mpyoung@lc.edu.