Around town with Judy Martini: Fox Lake Chamber of Commerce

Joe Keller, the new Executive Director of the Fox Waterway Agency was the guest speaker at this month’s Fox Lake Chamber of Commerce luncheon. Mr. Keller gave an overview of the mission and the challenges of the Agency to find solutions to remove the over 100,000 cubic yards of sediment which enter the Fox River watershed yearly. One of the solutions Mr. Keller discussed with chamber members was the long time theory of island creation opportunities from dredged materials such as Trinski Island and by Petite Lake for the many waterfowl and plant life conducive from the Chain O'Lakes area.

The Chain O'Lakes area contains over 500 miles of shoreline within it' 700 acres of waterways. It is speculated that tourism from the Chain O'Lakes waterway generates over $150 Million per year from the thousands of tourists and residents who use this waterway. The Fox Waterway Agency currently has two sources of revenue for operations, state funding and revenue generated from sticker fees. The Agency is looking for other permanent sources of funding since the state has reduced funding dramatically because of the budget impasse.

Mr. Keller also asked chamber members to spread the word about the 15th Annual Fox River/Chain O'Lakes clean-up event being held on Saturday, May 7th from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. They are seeking volunteers and boats to help clean up some of the debris in the Chain O'Lakes to keep our waterways clean and help prevent wildlife from harming themselves from plastic bags or bottles. There will be five different clean-up drop-off locations. If you have a boat, or don’t but would like to give a hand with the clean-up, call Randy at 847-846-3648 or Ann at 815-338-6223, ext. 1234.