Every living thing depends on clean water. Our region is blessed with tremendous water resources – the Mississippi River, the Kaskaskia River, wetlands, streams, and lakes. The health of the region’s streams, rivers, and lakes is connected to the health of the region’s people and the land.

Rain is essential to replenish our drinking water sources, water our crops and landscapes, and support wildlife habitat and recreation. Unfortunately, as the climate changes, we are experiencing an increase in the frequency and intensity of rainstorms. As land develops, unnatural, hard surfaces (such as asphalt) cause the rainwater to flow faster. Along with it, pollutants such as sewage, silt, salt, and fertilizers, pour into and damage our region’s creeks, lakes, and rivers – our region’s primary drinking water sources.

Flash flooding also has tremendous impacts on people’s lives. Repeated flash floods cause damage to homes, cost millions in damage and lost wages, and cause stress and health issues.

HeartLands Conservancy works in partnership with public entities, agencies and residents to protect and manage water in southwestern Illinois.