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Learn about Emiquon and how to navigate the virtual preserve tour.
Emiquon's abundant water, plants and wildlife were a natural attraction for Native American and European settlers.
6,000 to 4,000 B.C.
1900 to 1940
1940 to 1970
1970 to 1990
1990 to 2010
Emiquon's floodplains, upland forests and tallgrass prairies have attracted people to this area for more than 12,000 years.
From ancient native tribes to contemporary farmers, the area's abundance of food, water and shelter for wildlife made this land a natural place for settlers.
Archaeologists consider Emiquon one of the richest places for discovered Native American sites in the country. It is a place of mystery and legend with strong connections to the past.
Learn more about the human history surrounding Emiquon in the video to the right.
Birds flock to Emiquon by the hundreds of thousands during spring and fall migration.
Migratory birds make arduous journeys, traveling anywhere from 3,000 to 15,000 miles during their migratory flights each spring and fall.
Wetlands such as Emiquon are critical to migratory birds' survival as they rely on these natural habitats for refuge, food and rest during their journeys.
Since The Nature Conservancy began restoration at Emiquon, thousands of migratory birds have flocked to the area—birds such as American coots, trumpeter swans, American white pelicans and Forster's terns.
See some of these birds during their migration through Emiquon in the adjacent video.
Explore the Birds of Emiquon
Click the camera icon on each bird to see an enlarged image. Click the headphones icon to hear each bird's call; click again to stop the sound.
A new water control structure will help Emiquon fully function as a floodplain wetland.
Restoring Emiquon to a functional floodplain wetland is one of The Nature Conservancy's restoration goals for the site.
A functional floodplain wetland has many benefits for both people and nature, including:
- acting as a natural filter that cleans water;
- recharging aquifers, the underground water sources for drinking and agricultural production;
- providing some of the most biologically rich habitats on Earth, which also provides homes for wildlife;
- providing outdoor recreational opportunities such as paddling and fishing.
In an effort to make Emiquon a fully-functioning floodplain, The Nature Conservancy is working to build a new water control structure that will create a managed connection between Emiquon and the Illinois River.
Fishing & Paddling
Emiquon has become a regional hotspot for fishing and paddling.
In restoring the wetland habitats at Emiquon, The Nature Conservancy has expanded fishing and paddling opportunities for the public.
With support from Jonathan and Nancy Hamill and the Hamill Family Foundation, the Conservancy has constructed visitor use amenities that allow the public to further explore Emiquon. These amenities include boardwalks, canoe and boat launches, hiking trails, observation decks and pavilions featuring interpretive signage for teachers, students, land managers and the public.
See what it's like to canoe Emiquon and learn more about the fishing opportunities in the adjacent video.
Explore the Fish of Emiquon
Click on the icons to get a close-up look at the fish found at Emiquon.