February 2nd is World Wetlands Day, and the Protect Illinois Wetlands coalition is excited to kick off the Wetlands in Focus photo blitz. Wetlands improve water quality, provide important flood control, protect our groundwater, and preserve endangered habitats. We want you to capture the beauty and diversity of wetlands through photography and share with your family and friends.
Here’s how you can be part of sharing the beauty of Illinois wetlands.
Step 1: Choose a Wetland Location
Select a wetland location that you know and love, grab your camera and make a plan to visit.
Some suggested public and accessible Illinois wetlands sites:
- Amboy Marsh Nature Preserve
- Big Marsh
- Bluff Spring Fen
- Cache River State Natural Area
- Cedar Glen State Natural Area
- Dixon Waterfowl Refuge
- Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge
- Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge
- Hegewisch Marsh
- Heron County Park
- James “Pate” Philip State Park
- Kaskaskia River State Fish & Wildlife Area
- Nygren Wetland Preserve
- Sanganois State Fish & Wildlife Area
- St. Joseph Wetland
- Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge
- Volo Bog State Natural Area
- Wilkinson–Renwick Marsh
Step 2: Point. Click. Shoot. Post.
From World Wetlands Day on February 2, 2024 to Earth Day on April 22, 2024 we welcome you to take and post your best pictures of wetland landscapes from dusk till dawn. Post your images on your social media and use the hashtag #ProtectILWaters.
Some potential categories for inspiration include:
- Wetland flora and fauna
- Bird species in wetlands
- Macro photography of insects or plants
- Reflections in wetlands
- Wetland textures and patterns
- Families and fun outdoors at wetlands
Remember to always respect the wetland environment and follow local regulations and guidelines while conducting the photo blitz. Enjoy the experience and have fun capturing the beauty of wetlands through photography!
You can also share photos from previous visits to Illinois wetlands. Have a great photo from last summer or fall? Share your throwback photo with the hashtag #ProtectILWaters
Why these wetlands photos are important
Protecting wetlands helps filter and purify water, ensuring that the water sources used by Illinoisans for drinking, recreation and agriculture remain clean and free from pollutants. They also provide habitat for a wide variety of plant and animal species. Yet, while wetlands play a critical role in ecosystem health, they are frequently misunderstood. Sharing photos of wetlands around the state can highlight the important role wetlands play and celebrate their beauty.
What will the Protect Illinois Waters coalition do with the blitz pics?
Photos tagged with #ProtectILWaters will automatically be part of our Wetlands in Focus photo blitz. Your photos will accumulate under the hashtag #ProtectILWaters. Follow the hashtag to see photos that other photo blitz participants.
From World Wetland Day until Earth Day (February 2-April 22), we will search for the best photos to showcase Illinois wetlands. Then, throughout American Wetlands Month in May the Protect Illinois Waters coalition plans to showcase some of the amazing photos of wetlands across the state.
Birding for beginners
Protect Illinois Wetlands Coalition
Environment Illinois is working with partners around the state to protect Illinois wetlands and waters.
Outreach & Engagement Manager, Environment Illinois
Emily manages the marketing and public engagement strategy for Environment Illinois's campaigns, including our campaign to protect the Great Lakes from plastic pollution. Emily lives in Chicago where she enjoys knitting and biking.