LaSalle County Joins P2D2 Network

On May 1, 2009, LaSalle County joined the Illinois Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal Program (P2D2) Network. IISG helped sponsor this collection box for unwanted medicines in Ottawa, Illinois. Pictured from left to right: Bob Shull, Ottawa public works director; Jennifer Sines, clinical pharmacist, Illinois Valley Community Hospital; Captain Brent Roalson, Ottawa Police Dept.; Chief Brian Zielmann, Ottawa Police Dept.; and Bob Rick, Ottawa Public Works Director.


In the News: UN chief calls for renewed efforts to protect global ecosystems

From China View:
The spread of non-native species is harming ecosystems, livelihoods and economies around the world, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday in a message to mark the International Day for Biological Diversity, calling for renewed effort to protect life on earth.

Ban said the global decline in biodiversity "remains alarming, despite agreement at the (2002) World Summit on Sustainable Development to significantly reduce the rate of loss by 2010," citing deforestation, habitat changes and land degradation, often linked to climate change's growing impact, as the main drivers of biodiversity loss.

But another threat, which is the focus of this year's observance of the International Day, is the spread of invasive alien species, he said. Read more.


In the News: Fish Really Is 'Brain Food'

From Science Daily:
Eating fish – long considered ‘brain food’ – may really be good for the old grey matter, as is a healthy dose of sunshine, new research suggests.University of Manchester scientists in collaboration with colleagues from other European centres have shown that higher levels of vitamin D – primarily synthesised in the skin following sun exposure but also found in certain foods such as oily fish – are associated with improved cognitive function in middle-aged and older men. Read more.


Water Gardeners: Dig In!

Now that spring is finally here, many of us are thinking about gardening. Is this the year you put in a water garden? Or do you already have a water garden, and plan to add new plants? Well, before you head out to the garden center, you should know that water gardening is one way that invasive aquatic plants can spread into new waterways. When introduced into local waters, these plants can displace native ones, which are sources of food and shelter for native wildlife. Because they grow so prolifically, invasive plants can also clog drainage pipes, impede navigation, and make fishing difficult.

Does this make water gardening a bad idea? Not at all. It means you should be careful to choose plants that are native or non-invasive. It also means you should be careful how you get rid of plants you no longer want or need. For instance, do not release them into natural waterways.

IISG has a 4-page brochure, Invasive Aquatic Plants: What every Plant Enthusiast needs to Know, that provides tips on how best to situate your water garden and how to choose plants carefully. You might want to take the “Most Wanted List,” included in the brochure, with you to the garden center. These are the baddest of the bad invasive plants.

For a free copy, email white2@illinois.edu. If you would like to purchase a package of 25 (for the garden club?) click here and place your order. The cost is $4.50 plus shipping. For information on this and other invasive plants publications, visit Aquatic Plants in Trade on the IISG website.


Spring Events Kick into Gear

This weekend you can find IISG’s exhibit Nab the Aquatic Invader at several events in the southern Lake Michigan region. Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16, we will be at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore for a Bioblitz, sponsored by National Geographic.

From the Dunes website:
The BioBlitz is part scientific endeavor, part festival and part outdoor classroom. It is a 24-hour event in which teams of scientists, volunteers and community members join forces to find and identify as many local plant and animal species as possible. Participants comb the park, observing and recording as many plant and animal species as possible.

From the National Geographic site:
Grab your backpack and be a part of the 2009 Indiana Dunes BioBlitz from noon Friday, May 15 to noon Saturday, May 16, 2009. Stay beyond the BioBlitz or come out to West Beach Saturday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m. for the Celebrate Biodiversity festival. Every species counts, especially you! This wild event is fun for the whole family and it’s free, so don’t miss out.

On Sunday morning, we will move to Grayslake, Illinois to engage the Prairie Pedal crowd. Here’s more about this event from the Liberty Prairie Conservancy website:

Prairie Pedal is a fun, family-oriented bicycling festival that celebrates the value of nature and conservation for Lake County. There are four route options, and all of them take riders through beautiful, open spaces in central Lake County and the Prairie Crossing conservation community. The three longer routes include travel on Libertyville Township trails as well as Almond and Casey Roads (two scenic rural roads which are closed to through- traffic for the event) and a rest stop at Almond Marsh Forest Preserve. Prairie Pedal helps raise funds for the land preservation work of the Liberty Prairie Conservancy and includes a delicious lunch, nature-related educational activities, Music by Sagebrush, and raffle prizes including an iPod shuffle.

For more information, follow the links above.


In the News: Budget Money For Big Lakes

From the Environment Report:
The Environmental Protection Agency's budget has a lot of money for green energy projects, dealing with climate change and creating green jobs. But Lester Graham reports the EPA will also deal with old fashioned environmental issues such as pollution: Listen or read more.


In the News: ILLINOIS STYLE: Grinding carp to something useful

From the Chicago Tribune:
For a place that grinds river fish into a fine, brown powder, Heartland Processing LLC doesn't smell as bad as one might expect; more like bran flakes than blood and guts.

This nondescript metal building at the end of a long, country road soon will begin to transform the Asian carp, known for destroying the Illinois River's native-fish ecosystem and causing havoc among boaters, into two valuable commodities. All while helping the environment. Read more.