The Midwest lost two species to extinction, and humans are largely to blame

A century ago, people throughout the Midwest could hear the high-pitched staccato call of the ivory-billed woodpecker echoing in old-growth forests throughout the Mississippi River basin, from Montana to Louisiana. Now that call has been permanently silenced. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently declared 23 species, including birds, freshwater mussels and a flower, extinct. […]

Lack Of Testing Means Millions Of Rural Midwesterners Risk Water Contamination

Millions of rural residents across the Midwest are at risk of nitrate contamination in their drinking water, but they might not know it. Many rural residents get their drinking water from private wells, which are not regulated by state or federal governments. And if residents aren’t regularly testing their well water, they could be at […]

Cover Crops Can Help Slow Climate Change, But Few Farmers Are Planting Them

Amid a push from the Biden administration for U.S. agriculture to help slow climate change, a new study shows farmers in the Corn Belt are dropping the ball on adopting a climate-friendly practice.   A mountain of research shows the benefits of planting cover crops — from sequestering carbon from the environment to keeping waterways […]

Illinoisans Advised to Watch Out For Toxic Algae

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Public Health are warning residents to be on the lookout for toxic blue-green algae for those planning summer activities in Illinois’ lakes and streams. The algae has already been detected in the Illinois River at the Starved Rock Lock & Dam.   According to the press release, summer […]

Illinois Joins Midwestern States In Funding Farm Runoff Reduction Program

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois is the latest Midwestern state to earmark funding for a program to reduce nutrient runoff from farmland into waterways. It’s the first time the state has dedicated money to its Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS). Twelve states within the Mississippi River basin have similar strategies in place, and some, like Iowa, have […]