Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2014IL285B

Epikarstic groundwater ecosystems in Illinois: a sensitive by unstudied faunal element

Institute: Illinois
Year Established: 2014 Start Date: 2014-05-01 End Date: 2014-12-31
Total Federal Funds: $7,483 Total Non-Federal Funds: $15,090

Principal Investigators: Steven Taylor

Abstract: Nearly one quarter of Illinois is comprised of karst terrane -- soil overlaying limestone bedrock where shallow aquifers rapidly transport water from recharge points to resurgence points (springs) via enlarged conduits (often caves). Unlike slow moving waters in sand and gravel aquifers, water in these karst aquifers can move rapidly and transport contaminants to shallow wells and springs with little or no filtration. State (IDNR, INPC) and federal (NRCS) agencies, the U of I Extension, the Illinois Natural History Survey, and private groups (Clifftop Appliance, the Salt Lick Point Stewardship Committee, and the Friends of Stemler Nature Preserve) are working togheter through the Southwestern Illinois Wildlife Action Plan Partnership (SWIWAP) to implement the state's Illinois Wildlife Action Plan (IWAP), focusing on the Hill Prairie and Karst Sinkhole Plain Conservation Opportunity Area (COA) in Monroe, St. Clair, and Randolph counties. Conserving and protecting our natural resources -- water, wildlife, soils -- requires an understanding of the unique hydrological processes, especially in light of anticipated shifts that are coming with climate change.