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(Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC)

The bill, which still needs approval in the full House and the Senate, would expand a 10-year effort to clean up toxic pollution, restore fish and wildlife habitat, manage invasive species and reduce runoff pollution in the Great Lakes.

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Illinois Department of Natural Resources biologist Justin Widloe holds a bighead carp. (Chad Merda / Forest Preserve District of Will County)

If Asian carp invade the Great Lakes, experts say the fish would have a devastating effect on the marine food chain and the region’s $7 billion fishing industry. We get a look at efforts to keep them out of Illinois waterways.

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One of 52 Blanding’s turtles released Wednesday at a DuPage County Forest Preserve site. (Ashley Hosmer / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)

After spending their first year at Chicago’s Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, dozens of endangered Blanding’s turtles were released into the wild as part of a preservation effort that started more than 20 years ago.

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This snowy owl was bred in captivity in Canada and brought to the Illinois Raptor Center as a permanent resident. Unlike most owls, which are nocturnal, the snowy owl is active during the day. (Evan Garcia / WTTW News)

About 180 miles southwest of Chicago, a wildlife conservation facility cares for hundreds of injured, sick or orphaned raptors. We go for a look and meet some of these incredible birds of prey.

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The Blanding’s turtle is classified as endangered in Illinois. (Courtesy Chicago Wilderness)

The Trump administration’s move to effectively weaken protections under the landmark law could have stark consequences for the 480 plant and animal species classified as endangered or threatened within Illinois. 

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In this Feb. 1, 2016 file photo, a bald eagle takes flight at the Museum of the Shenandaoh Valley in Winchester, Virginia.  (Scott Mason / The Winchester Star via AP, File)

Under the enforcement changes, officials for the first time will be able to publicly attach a cost to saving an animal or plant. Blanket protections for creatures newly listed as threatened will be removed. 

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A rusty-patched bumble bee (U.S Fish and Wildlife Service / Wikimedia Commons)

It’s been a rough few decades for the rusty patched bumblebee. Once widespread in Illinois and throughout much of the U.S., the species has lost nearly 90% of its population over the past 20 years.

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (WTTW News file photo)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and four of his counterparts in the region are urging candidates in the 2020 presidential election to back a new plan aimed at protecting the Great Lakes.

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Artwork made by students from across the world is on display at Shedd Aquarium. (Joshua Ford / Bezos Family Foundation)

The massive art project that got the attention of students across the globe is part of an educational initiative aimed at preserving oceans and the people who live closest to them.

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A piping plover on Waukegan Beach in 2018. (Ethan Ellis / Flickr)

The festival had been scheduled for Aug. 23-24 at Montrose Beach, where a pair of endangered piping plovers established a nest this spring. 

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(skeeze / Pixabay)

New research by University of Chicago scientists shows that despite the positive intentions of conservationists who promote captive breeding for monarchs, the practice may not be producing the desired effect.

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Restoring the Chicago River has been a project many decades in the making. One of many organizations taking part in that effort offers a water-level view of the work underway. We go for a look.

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On Sunday, the final mass at St. Adalbert church in Pilsen is set to take place, but supporters of the church vow to appeal the closure.

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A bumblebee lands on a flower. (Courtesy Chicago Botanic Garden)

Pollinating animals account for an estimated one out of every three bites of food humans eat. “Bees & Beyond” explains how the process works, traces its evolutionary history and demonstrates its impact on our daily lives.

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(Courtesy The Field Museum)

Chicago and other U.S. cities could provide nearly one-third of the milkweed plant scientists estimate is needed to save monarch butterflies, whose populations have plummeted in recent decades. 

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A piping plover on Waukegan Beach in 2018. (Ethan Ellis / Flickr)

Organizers of Mamby on the Beach want to move the music festival to Montrose Beach, but conservationists are pushing back because of two endangered birds living at the site.