Not only did RJ continue his work with the Volunteer Lake Monitoring Program (something he has been doing since he was in high school), he also expanded the scope of the program to include Tier 3 monitoring which provides LLISA with high level water quality data. RJ was instrumental in overseeing the installation of the new sluice gate at the Squaw Creek dam. He established partnerships with environmental groups such as Sierra Club, led LLISA's effort to make Baxter's sewer connection a reality, reinforced relationships with local and state governmental organizations, and much much more.
Importantly, RJ leaves LLISA with strong leadership. The LLISA board of directors has elected Joe Popeck as President and Jack Cahill as Vice-President. Both Joe and Jack have already assumed many new responsibilities and are working hard for Long Lake. Our organization appreciates their willingness to serve. LLISA also now has an entire team of volunteers working on environmental issues and a strong collaborative relationship with Sierra Club that will serve us well going forward.
We would also like to share some news about Baxter. On December 20, 2017, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, along with Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim, announced a lawsuit against Baxter for releasing wastewater containing contaminants that exceeded allowable limits into Squaw Creek. Anticipating the possibility of the state taking legal action, LLISA wrote a letter to the Illinois Attorney General in July 2017 requesting that any fines levied against Baxter be directed back to Long Lake in the form of funding for projects designed to improve the quality of the lake. The full text of LLISA's letter can be found below.