In 2006 and 2007, a comprehensive water quality assessment was conducted for the Kaskaskia River watershed by Dr. Karl Williard (SIU-Carbondale) in partnership with HeartLands Conservancy (formerly Southwestern Illinois Resource Conservation and Development). The findings of this analysis were shared in a series of workshops throughout the watershed, alongside descriptions of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to address the pollution issues identified.
Ten years on, Dr. Williard conducted an update to this water quality assessment with support from the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices and the Illinois Soybean Association. Pollutants assessed include nitrogen, phosphorus, turbidity, and fecal coliform. Reviewing changes from the previous assessment revealed whether water quality trends have improved, declined, or remained the same at 14 monitoring gauges throughout the watershed. HeartLands Conservancy presented the findings of this assessment to stakeholders in the Upper Reach of the watershed at the Lake Shelbyville Visitors Center on June 15, 2016, and to stakeholders in the Lower Reach of the watershed at St. Pancratius Church in Fayetteville to the Lower Kaskaskia Stakeholders, Inc. (LKSI) group on July 27, 2016.