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The mission of the Fox River Study Group is to enhance the health and vitality of our river for the benefit of the nearly 1 million citizens in the Fox River Valley.


We are a diverse coalition of stakeholders using science to guide the region toward a cleaner, safer and more beautiful Fox River. We use research, data and collaboration to support sustainable policies and development across the Fox River watershed.

Fox River Study Group members contributing financially or in-kind include representatives from:


The Board of Directors of the Fox River Study Group generally meets the fourth Thursday of each month at 9:30 AM

Currently all meetings are held via video conference. To participate, email

to request the GoToMeeting link and a calendar invitation

If held in person, at Fox Metro Water Reclamation District,  at 628 State Rt. 31, in Oswego, Illinois (map).
Or at a special location for the annual meeting.

All meetings are open to the public - meeting details and minutes are available here. At times, meeting locations and dates may be adjusted, so please check the meetings page to confirm dates, times and locations.


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The Fox River Study Group (FRSG) began meeting in the summer of 2001 after the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) added the Fox River to its list of impaired waters. Communities along the Fox River are required to address water quality issues identified by IEPA. This designation required action be taken to improve the water quality of the river.

FRSG was formed as a collaborative approach to creating a healthier Fox River. It has developed an effective water monitoring program for the Fox River and is using that data to guide communities toward the best solutions to improve water quality. Analysis of collected data shows that levels of nutrient pollution in the Fox River declined over the 2006-2016 decade.

FRSG developed a model for the Fox River Watershed that makes it possible to evaluate priorities for watershed management, assess the effects of development options in the region, ensure efficient use of taxpayer dollars on watershed projects and educate stakeholders on the best ways to achieve cleaner water and sustainable development.

FRSG released the Fox River Implementation Plan (FRIP) in 2015. The plan recommended municipal wastewater treatment facilities (WWTP) reduce their phosphorus discharges to the Fox River together with efforts towards reducing runoff pollution of the river throughout the watershed. By 2022 the improvements in wastewater discharges will reduce phosphorus levels in the river by 75%. Data from 2017- 2021 already show a 60% reduction.

FRSG completed an update to the FRIP in December 2022. One key part of this update is the predictive modelling of actions to eliminate nuisance algae blooms and correct dissolved oxygen problems seen along specific sections of the river. The model evaluates different nutrient reduction strategies from agriculture and municipalities as well as removal of dams for cost and effectiveness in meeting water quality goals. The key findings of the 2022 FRIP are:

  • Major WWTPs complete reductions to meet the 0.5 mg/l annual geometric mean TP limit by 2030

  • Collaborate on removal of dams on the Fox River and monitor the resulting water quality impacts after completion of the Fox River Connectivity & Habitat Study recommendations

  • Encourage watershed management practices to mitigate projected population growth impacts

  • Leverage statewide work on evaluation of streambank erosion and quantify its impact on phosphorus loads in the watershed

  • Partner with efforts to reduce nutrients upstream and downstream

  • Partner with other agencies and organizations to eliminate non-nutrient related impairments


FRSG continues to work with WWTPs on strategies to reduce phosphorus inputs while also working with the Army Corps of Engineers, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and local municipalities to finalize and implement the Corps' Section 519 Fox River Habitat and Connectivity Study. This study recommends removal of dams from the Kane County reach of the river. The timeline for next steps can be found in the Corps' Update at the FRSG 2023 Annual Meeting.


In addition to actions taken to eliminate nuisance algae blooms and correct dissolved oxygen problems in the river, the Fox River Study Group continues to support the development and update of watershed-based plans for Fox River tributary streams. FRSG is currently collaborating with the City of Aurora to conduct a microbial source tracking study on Indian Creek. It is also partnering with The Illinois State Water Survey who is conducting a second trend analysis of river data looking at trends for chloride, conductivity, turbidity, water temperature, pH, and chlorophyll.


  • Chair, Cindy Skrukrud, Sierra Club

  • Vice Chair, Rob Linke, Kane County Division of Environmental & Water Resources

  • Treasurer, Karen Clementi,  Fox Metro Water Reclamation District Oswego

  • Secretary, Art Malm, Friends of the Fox River

  • Assistant Secretary, Tim Wilson, Tri-Cities (Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles)

  • Brian Witkowski, City of Aurora

  • Debra Ness, City of Elgin

  • Alyse Olson , Fox River Ecosystem Partnership

  • Eric Johnson, Fox River Water Reclamation District Elgin

Committee Chairs

Finance Committee – Karen Clementi

Modeling/Monitoring Committee – Rob Linke/ Karen Clementi

NPDES FRSG Special Condition Committee –  Karen Clementi

Communications Committee – Brian Witkowski

Dam Communications Subcommittee – Art Malm

Annual Meeting Subcommittee – Tim Wilson

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The photos used on this site were generously provided by friends, partners and supporters of the Fox River Study Group. Click here to view the images and credits for those that made this site possible. 
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