Sustainability seminar to discuss water quality in Illinois

Those on campus who have an interest in helping reduce their environmental footprint and protect the quality of water in Illinois will have a chance to discuss and learn more about the issue.

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, or ISTC, Sustainability Seminar series will continue this spring, with its first lecture of the year set for Thursday.

Marcia Willhite, Chief of the Bureau of Water for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, will be the speaker for the first meeting, where she will discuss some of the water quality issues the state of Illinois faces, according to Nancy Holm, coordinator of the series for the ISTC.

Holm said nitrates and phosphates are getting into water systems, due to water runoff, leading to high nutrient levels in streams and rivers. She added all of it eventually runs to the Mississippi River, which can cause issues in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Illinois is one of the bigger contributors to that,” she said. “I know the Illinois EPA is doing a lot of work on reducing runoff and sedimentation into the water.”

Thursday’s seminar is within a year-long series, with one or two usually every month, presented as a way to “share scientific research with peers in a relaxed, informal environment,” according to the ISTC’s website.

The first seminar will be held at the Stephen J. Warner Conference Room at ISTC, One East Hazelwood Drive in Champaign. The event will start at 1 p.m on Thursday, Feb. 2.

The presentation will be broadcast live and more information about the ISTC can be found on their “website”:http://www.istc.illinois.edu.