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1. With single digit temperatures forecast starting this weekend, we might finally be heading towards “safe ice”. As such, this is a good time to remind winter lake users about the need to exercise particular care when venturing out on the ice as it does form. The MPOA website ( has a video posted on how someone falling through the ice can perform a "self-rescue". Winter lake users are also reminded of the presence of the rip-rap collars around O'Brien Shoals and Wickline Island, and that ice formation may have changed in those areas of the lake that had been dredged. Additional information on ice safety is found on the following page.

2. The Illinois Lake Management Association (ILMA) is hosting its annual conference at the I-Hotel & Conference Center in Champaign from March 4th through March 6th, 2024. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Trent Ford, Illinois State Climatologist, who will discuss Climate Change and Water Resources in Illinois. Illinois has gotten wetter and warmer in every season over the past several decades, and these changes in our climate are likely going to continue through mid-century. The effects of our changing climate, past and future, on Illinois' water resources are many and complex. From less snow and more winter rain to higher summer evaporation rates, he'll discuss our changing climate, how it has impacted water resources in the recent past, and what is expected over the next few decades. Registration info can be found at

3. While the use of ice-melting salt on roadways driveways and sidewalks can help make conditions less slippery in certain conditions, it is important to note that this same salt if over-used can end up in our groundwater drinking water supply, as well as Wonder Lake and Nippersink Creek. De-icers are often applied under the “more is better” approach, which can have negative impacts.

Three steps to minimize salt usage are:

1. Shovel Clear walkways before snow turns to ice, and before you apply salt. The more snow you clear manually, the less salt you’ll need.

2. Select Salt doesn’t melt ice if the pavement is below 15 degrees, so use sand for traction when it’s too cold, or choose a different de-icer. Switch to sand when it gets too cold

3. Scatter Use salt only where it’s critical. When you apply salt to pavement, leave plenty of space between granules. A 12-ounce coffee cup of salt is enough to cover 10 sidewalk squares or a 20-foot driveway.

Additional information can be found at: