In September 2005, a diverse group of Northwest Arkansas leaders organized an Upper Illinois River Summit with 65 watershed stakeholders committing to personal action and agreeing that public education is the number one priority to improve and protect water quality in the Illinois River. In December 2005, the summit group officially formed the Illinois River Watershed Partnership.

The Illinois River Watershed Partnership is composed of a broad variety of stakeholders who directly affect the water quality of the Illinois River. This group is holding itself accountable by striving to improve the water quality of the Illinois River through personal endeavors and through education, encouragement and positive reinforcement of fellow Illinois River Watershed residents. We are not a politically charged organization, but rather a group that works at the grassroots level with other organizations to seek changes in environmental issues for the betterment of our region.  We look beyond the river banks and see the future and how the Illinois River will support our lives into the next centuries.


The Illinois River and its tributaries will be a fully functioning ecosystem, where ecological protection, conservation, and economically productive uses support diverse aquatic and riparian communities, meet all state and federal water quality standards, promote economic sustainability, and provide recreational opportunities.


The Illinois River Watershed Partnership works to improve the integrity of the Illinois River through public education and community outreach, water quality monitoring, and the implementation of conservation and restoration practices throughout the watershed.