Essay on Ecosystems: Water and Illinois River

Submitted By heavyarms33
Words: 757
Pages: 4

A favorite natural ecosystem of mine in my local area is the Illinois River. The Illinois River is used for a lot of different things in the community. The Illinois River is a huge tourist attraction for river rafting, canoeing, and camping. I know this first hand because I drowned while river rafting this summer. The river also provides local farmers with rich moist soil. That is why the Tahlequah farmers market is thriving each season. Another very common use for the river is for septic systems. The main function of a river is to transport water from head waters to the ocean. The natural process is never ending the hydrologic cycle returns river run off to the sea. For surface water the cycle lasts 11 days (all surface water is replaced every 11 days). Rivers provide a source of fresh water that is replenish able within a short time frame. Rivers carry a different source of water though. The Illinois River carries liquid water but it also carries some solids. Suspended solids (sediments) are small solid particles which remain in suspension in water as a colloid. The other main solid the Illinois River carries are dissolved solids (mostly salts). This is repetitive but rivers carry these solids to the ocean it is any rivers main role. The Illinois River has a dissolved salt content ranging from as low as 50 parts per million (ppm) near the head waters to as much as 1000 ppm in the lower reaches. The amount changes every year depending on Oklahoma weather. In the summer it is normal for Oklahoma temperatures to range from 98 degrees to 105 degrees. This causes the Illinois River to produce a lot of salt this is because it is released from all the waste in the river. The Illinois River doesn't have horrible waste compared to a lot of rivers like the Mississippi River. But I have definitely witnessed people just pouring cans of beer in the river. In Oklahoma there is a lot of irrigation this produces salt. The crops evapotranspire a huge amount of water. The crops release good and not so good nutrients from the underlying soil and rock. The Illinois river has suffered a lot of damage from irrigation, heat, and tourists. Since Oklahoma is very protective of our natural ecosystems laws have been put in place to protect the Illinois River. The only changes that occur on the river are usually natural (like salinity levels, wild life, drought, or flooding) because the laws put in place prohibit people from even littering in the river. Also, a lot of people volunteer to clean the river up. The Illinois River is a pretty clean river in a lot of parts the water is not muggy at all you can see to the bottom. There is not a lot of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution in the Illinois River. The total amount of