Dear Fox Waterway Supporter,
On behalf of the Fox Waterway Agency (FWA) I would like to wish you all a Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. Our FWA is responsible for the Fox River and Chain O’Lakes which encompasses more than 7,000 acres of waterway in Northeastern Illinois and nearly 50 miles of river shore line alone. Our waterway has more boat usage per acre than any other inland waterway in the United States and is used by millions of people every year. Our mission, of which I am a part, 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 at this time is comprised primarily from the sale of waterway stickers or user fees. Our FWA has recently approved a roughly 20% increase in these fees for the upcoming 2016-17 season. We are working harder to find new ways of raising capital for our shared mission without the need to further increase user fees. This is critical as the FWA has received less support from the State and others. These challenges along with aging equipment and the continued inflow of sediment into our system drastically affects our mission and the life of our precious waterway.
During these challenging times we are working hard alongside our waterway’s many friends, elected officials and partners at the IDNR to find new, innovative and sustainable solutions to preserve our precious resource. We are also continuing to review commitments made by my predecessor as we navigate through our 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. 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