If you haven’t heard, there’s a sand mine slated for a plot of land bordering the eastern entrance of Starved Rock State Park. The Illinois Sierra Club, Prairie Rivers Network, and Openlands organizations have banded together in opposition to this mine, and are currently involved in pending litigation with the mining company Mississippi Sand, LLC. This website is dedicated to our efforts, and serves to inform the public in terms of what has been done, what is coming up, and how you can help us fight this mine.
Not in the area, but want to help? Donate to our cause today!
About the park
Starved Rock is a jewel of Illinois. Over 2 million visitors visit the area annually to see nesting bald eagles, natural waterfalls, and gorgeous canyons as the leaves of the trees change from green to brilliant shades of red and yellow. Voted as Illinois’ #1 attraction, we can’t let our beautiful slice of the outdoors get tainted from mining activity! Save Starved Rock!
The Midwest is unfortunately the center of the sand mining boom. This new demand for sand is directly related to our nation’s hydraulic fracturing (fracking) obsession. Fracking is a novel method of horizontally drilling through shale deposits deep underneath the earth, fracturing the rock, and harvesting the newly freed natural gas bubbles.
Sand – more specifically, sandstone – is critical to this operation. In particulate form, it serves to hold open the micro-fissures created in the shale, which allows the gas to flow freely without obstruction. It is important to note that beach sand will not work in fracking – only sandstone that has been ground down will effectively hold open these cracks – it has to do with the physics.
Mississippi Sand, LLC
Unfortunately, the same sandstone that creates the beautiful canyons at Starved Rock are ideal for frack sand. Mississippi Sand, LLC has been approved to mine sand at a location bordering the eastern edge of Starved Rock State Park. The mining activity will dump millions of gallons of water into a tributary known as Horseshoe Creek, which then flows through Starved Rock before emptying into the Illinois River. To read more, visit our timeline, talking points and even the local media’s coverage of what has taken place. For the most up to date info on the status of our battle, visit the blog on this site.