The Illinois River is one of the most beloved and utilized rivers in the state. The natural benefits derived from the river support ecosystems and economies, while providing rich context for the region�s cultural heritage and nourishment for the soul. Unfortunately, the river is at risk. This book aims to shine a bright light on the Illinois River and all the river provides with the goal of inspiring the public to make better-informed decisions about their precious natural resource for the benefit of future generations. While photography is the cornerstone of the book, collaboration was the foundation. A collaboration of Oklahoma photographers and authors committed to this important conservation book designed to use art and important stories to empower environmental conservation. The Illinois River Survey photography book will serve as an important public outreach tool for Save the Illinois River (STIR) and will help bridge the gap between the river and the public. The book is a powerful force for conservation through its ability to influence, inform and inspire. The book begins with a special foreword by Oklahoma river advocate, Drew Edmondson and introduction by Oklahoma author, John Gifford. The book tells the story of the Illinois River and the region through which it flows, beginning with an essay by NSU History Professor, Brad Agnew, who writes about the rich history of the Illinois River. The next essay covers conservation photography, explaining photography�s pivotal role in the history of wilderness conservation and the future of the Illinois River. An essay by Oklahoma author Sheilah Bright narrates the Illinois River Survey event in May of 2011, and delves into the cultural heritage of the Illinois River and the importance of the river to people, local communities and all Oklahomans. The next essay by Priscilla Crawford of the Oklahoma Biological Survey and Natural Areas Registry describes the ecological diversity of the Illinois River watershed; and Mike Fuhr, director of the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy, explains the importance of environmental flows for the biodiversity of the Illinois River ecosystem. May 20 � 22, 2011, a team of Oklahoma photographers together with scientists, land and river managers, water officials, conservationists, and river advocates explored and documented important components of the Illinois River Watershed in a three-day photographic survey. The Survey group focused on the Illinois River�s unique ecological communities, the rivers ecosystems, with an emphasis on the natural services the rivers provides, and the history and unique cultural heritage of the Illinois River to the region, local river communities, and Tahlequah. Compelling photography can make a difference. The goal for the Illinois River Survey: A Visual Record is for the conservation photography book to be a timely and relevant piece of literature that will help the river today, and be a lasting record of the Illinois River for the future.