Dear Fox Waterway Supporter,
On behalf of the Fox Waterway Agency (FWA) I would like to wish you all a safe and great summer. Our FWA is responsible for the Fox River and Chain O’Lakes which encompasses over 7,000 acres of waterway, nearly 50 miles of river shoreline and nearly 500 miles of total shoreline. Our waterway has more boat usage per acre than any other inland waterway in the United States and is used and relied on by millions of people every year. Our mission, is to improve and maintain the Fox River and Chain O’Lakes public waterway for recreational use as well as restoring environmental quality, controlling flooding, promoting tourism, and preserving and enhancing the quality of life along the waterway for residents and users alike.
Our mission is tied to our budget which is very limited. Our budget is comprised primarily from the sale of waterway stickers or user fees. Our FWA and waterway are greatly challenged due to this limited funding and we need to get back our State support. This waterway generates over one hundred million dollars a year for the region along with millions of dollars in yearly tax revenues for the area and State. None of the millions in tax revenues our waterway generates are coming back to the Agency that is tasked for caring for it. This reality is disturbing and unacceptable. We continue to work to find new ways of raising capital for this essential mission. This is critical as the FWA has received less support and funding over the years not more. These challenges along with aging equipment and the continued inflow of sediment into our system adversely affects our shared mission and the life of our precious waterway.
During these challenging times we are working hard alongside our waterway’s friends, elected officials and partners at the IDNR to find new, innovative and sustainable solutions to preserve our precious resources. We continue to review prior commitments made by my predecessor as we navigate through our many challenges and financial constraints.
I remain committed to our mission and motivated and inspired by the people with whom I work given these difficult circumstances. The level of passion and concern for our waterway and for the people we serve has been inspiring to see. With a lot of hard work and ingenuity the FWA is striving to become as strong as ever to improve our ability to handle all the challenges of our waterway for its current and future residents and users alike.
We have a crucial obligation to protect this great natural resource for the lives that use and rely on it along with countless generations to come. The more resources we have the more work we can get done throughout our entire system to create a cleaner and a safer waterway for all. We are committed and striving for excellence to ensure our goal of becoming the most respected and best waterway in the United States of America. In order to do this, it will take yours, ours and many others renewed commitment and support.
We thank you for your continued help, understanding and support with this critical mission, and we thank the many people who use and depend on the FWA and our great waterway!
Joseph S. Keller,
Fox Waterway Agency
Preserving our great Fox Waterway for all!
45 South Pistakee Lake Road
Fox Lake, IL 60020