Algae blooms, which can threaten drinking water and human health, pop up regularly in dozens of Illinois waterways. And they may increase
Starved Rock Lock and Dam across from the state park along the Illinois River on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. - Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS

STARVED ROCK STATE PARK, Ill. — Barges carrying mounds of coal toward St. Louis passed by Starved Rock at a snail’s pace, inching past yellow-orange trees and sandstone canyons. A bald eagle hovered above a path leading hikers toward Lover’s Leap. Near the Starved Rock Lock and Dam, a pinch point along the Illinois River, the water was dull and unremarkable. But the area is home to a problem that taints waters throughout the state: toxic algae blooms. In June, its surface was streaked with neon green. The bloom, one of dozens sampled this year throughout Illinois, contained levels of a potent ...