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Kankakee River Watershed Conference

  • Kankakee River Watershed Conference

    Details about the event

    The Kankakee River is the essential natural resource both for the present and future health and vitality of the Northeast Illinois and Northwest Indiana regions. The Kankakee River Watershed Conference, “Kankakee: The River That Connects Us,” will highlight the sustainable stewardship of this remarkable asset. Specific emphasis will be given to the concerns of the bi-state region, including: access to drinking water and wastewater disposal, water for commercial use, agricultural drainage, fisheries, boating, maintaining associated habitats for wildlife and wise floodplain control.

    This conference will bring together stakeholders and interested individuals from Illinois and Indiana for education and conversation about the current conditions of the Kankakee watershed, while forging new relationships and seeking clear directions to ensure a continually improving ecosystem for the good of all current and future residents.

    The conference will be held on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University on February 10, 2017 from 8:15 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Lunch is included if you register on or before January 26. Registration is free and will close on February 6.

    Registration and a full schedule of presentations and speakers can be found in the ‘Resources’ section of this page. For questions, please contact Dr. Randy Johnson at

    Click here to access an archive of the conference presentation materials.

    We look forward to hosting you for this exciting event!


    Conference check-in, exhibits and sessions will all take place in the Larsen Fine Arts Center on Olivet's main campus in Bourbonnais.

    Check-In & Registration

    8:15-9:00 a.m.


    9:00-9:30 a.m.  Olivet Nazarene University Welcomes You!
    • Scope of Kankakee River Watershed
    • “Glorious Past” (Vic Johnson – Kankakee County Historical Society)

    Morning Sessions:

    9:40-10:20 a.m.   Water Capacity & Use
    • Surface Water & Groundwater Interface in Kankakee Basin
      Tamatha Patterson — U.S. Geological Survey
    • Adequacy of River — Current Water Use & Future Projections
      Kevin Culver — Aqua Illinois

    10:30-11:30 a.m.   Sand & Sediment
    • Sand/Sediment Baseline Studies
      Nani Bhowmik, PhD., U. of IL Emeritus, IL State Water Survey
    • Yellow River/Indiana Hydrogeology & Fluvial Geomorphology
      Robert Barr, Research Scientist, IUPUI
    • Sand with Bio-solids — Potential Kankakee River Project
      Chuck Theiling, PhD. — U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

    11:40-12:20 p.m.   Biodiversity
    • Fisheries Update — Illinois & Indiana
      Steve Pescitelli — Region II Stream Specialist, Illinois Department of Natural Resources
    • Sand Trends and Habitat Degradation
      Jerrod Parker — Illinois Natural History Survey


    12:30-1:15 p.m.   Olivet Nazarene University Ludwig Center

    Afternoon Sessions:

    1:30-2:10 p.m.   Nutrients & Agriculture in the Watershed
    • Nutrient Load Data from Kankakee & Iroquois Rivers in Indiana
      Tim Lathrop — U.S. Geological Survey & Dan Perkins – IN NRCS-CD
    • Agricultural Practices to Improve Water Quality
      Jeff O’Connor — Kankakee County Producer & Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy Advocate

    2:20-2:50 p.m.   River Recreation & Access
    • Illinois & Indiana Eco-Sites & DNR Programs in the Watershed
      Bob Caveny — Illinois Department of Natural Resources
    • National Water Trail — Connecting Indiana & Illinois
      Dan Plath — President, Northwest Indiana Paddling Association; President/Chief of Resource Management, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

    2:50-3:20 p.m.   Importance of Kankakee River to Bi-state Economy
    • Current & Future Economic Value of Kankakee River to Indiana
      R. Derek Bjonback, PhD. — Purdue University Northwest
    • Current & Future Economic Value of Kankakee River to Illinois
      Tim Nugent — President, Economic Alliance of Kankakee County

    Summary Plenary Session

    3:30-4:00 p.m.
    • Building Partners for a Sustainable Kankakee River Basin Future
      Brian D. Anderson, PhD. – Director of Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois

    February 10, 2017

    Larsen Fine Arts Center-Kresge Auditorium

    Olivet Nazarene University
    1 University Avenue
    Bourbonnais, Illinois

    Parking is available in the Larsen Fine Arts Center lot at the intersection of Route 45 and Route 102.

    Contact Dr. Randy Johnson at for more info.


    Register Now Schedule