The Fox River Study Group (FRSG) is a diverse coalition of stakeholders working together to assess water quality in the Fox River watershed.  Participants include Friends of the Fox River, Sierra Club, Fox River Water Reclamation District (Elgin), Fox Metro Water Reclamation District (Aurora), Fox River Ecosystem Partnership, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) and Blackberry Creek Watershed Plan Implementation Council as well as representatives from Algonquin, Aurora, Batavia, Crystal Lake, Elgin, Geneva, Island Lake, Kane County, Lake in the Hills, St. Charles and Yorkville.

The FRSG began meeting in the summer of 2001 to plan how to prepare for the upcoming Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study on the river.  A TMDL study is required by federal law because three segments of the Fox River appeared on the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's list of impaired waters (the 1998 303(d) list).  These segments, which lie between Holiday Hills and North Aurora, were listed because results from at least one water sample suggest there are water quality concerns.  The most common concerns include low dissolved oxygen levels or high concentrations of fecal coliform bacteria. The 303(d) listing was updated in 2002, and now includes the entire length of the Fox River from the Wisconsin state line to the river’s mouth at Ottawa with the most numerous causes listed as flow alteration, habitat alteration, low dissolved oxygen, nutrients, organic enrichment, PCBs, siltation or suspended solids.

Although the emphasis in the original meetings was on monitoring water quality, it soon became clear that the FRSG presented a unique opportunity to foster sustainable growth throughout the watershed.  To guide those efforts, the FRSG reached a consensus on the following work plan. 
The Work Plan
The work plan is made up of four phases.  Brief descriptions of the objectives of each phase, the schedule, and estimated costs are given in the table below.  Phase I work is being conducted by the Illinois State Water Survey and funded by the IEPA.  Part of the Phase II effort also began in April 2002 when the FRSG water quality monitoring program started collecting samples at seven sites along the Fox River.  This program, an all-volunteer effort organized by the Fox River and Fox Metro water reclamation districts, was carefully designed to satisfy rigorous data quality requirements of the IEPA.  Results from this program will be combined with results from Phase I to identify times and locations where additional information is needed.  Those data, especially information describing how the watershed responds to storm events, will be used in Phase III to calibrate a model of the Fox River watershed.
The fourth and final phase of the work plan is to implement and maintain the watershed model as a management tool.  The model will be used to:
•  Ensure efficient use of taxpayer and private moneys on watershed projects •  Assess the effect of various development options throughout the watershed •  Educate stakeholders
•  Evaluate management priorities
•  Identify sensitive regions within the watershed
•  Develop effective continuing monitoring programs
Board of Directors
Cindy Skrukrud, Chair
Sierra Club

Bob Trueblood, Vice Chair
Fox River Water Reclamation District

Kyla Jacobsen, Secretary
City of Elgin

Tom Muth, Treasurer
Fox Metro Water Reclamation District

Byron Ritchason, Assistant Secretary City of Batavia
Tri-Cities-Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles

Ken Anderson
Kane County Div. of Environmental
& Water Resources
Kane County

Eric Schoeny
City of Aurora

Gary Swick
Friends of the Fox River

Candice Jacobs
Fox River Ecosystem Partnership

entity being represented in italics
For additional information about  Fox River Study Group contact:

Cindy Skrukrud    815-675-2594
Mailing Address:
Fox River Study Group, Inc.
682 State Route 31
Oswego, IL 60543
Wisconsin & Illinois
Fox River Study Group, Inc., 682 State Route 31, Oswego, IL 60543