July 02, 2004

Media Advisory

Reporters and photographers are invited to cover an upcoming workshop at Southern Illinois University Carbondale -- where various agencies will report on efforts to restore and enhance natural resources on and along the middle Mississippi River.

The annual "Mississippi River Partnership Workshop," now in its third year, will meet Wednesday and Thursday, July 7 and 8, in the Dunn- Richmond Economic Development Center, 150 E. Pleasant Hill Rd. in Carbondale.

There will be presentations on river management, the potential for rice as wildlife fodder, the region's history, conserving and restoring migratory waterfowl habitats and fisheries projects relevant to the region.

Perhaps the most visual aspect of the two-day seminar will be a culminating field trip to an area wetlands restoration site.

To attend the field trip, be at the Dunn-Richmond Economic Development Center by 10:40 a.m. Thursday, July 8. From there, it'll be about a 30-minute drive to reach the site.

On location, various experts will be available for interviews and to answer questions. And they will explain and show examples of how wetlands provide critical habitat for wildlife and plants while helping to prevent floods, reduce water pollution and slow river siltation.

"The partnership is a consortium of state, federal and nongovernmental organizations with a common goal of restoring or otherwise enhancing the management activities of public lands and assisting private landowners with the restoration and management of floodplain wetlands and other habitats," explain Michael W. Eicholz, chair of this year's meeting and an assistant professor of zoology affiliated with the SIUC Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory.

"We concentrate on the middle Mississippi River corridor, which is bound by the confluences of the Ohio River to the south and the Illinois River to the north," he said.

For a complete list of lectures and presentations or for other additional information, call Eicholz at 618/453-6951 or Steve Widowski, with the U.S. Forest Service, at 618/658-1317.