The Illinois Water Environment Association (IWEA) has recognized Mayor Dave Kaptain with the 2024 Public Official Award. He will be honored on Monday, March 18 during the IWEA Awards Committee Banquet in East Peoria.
Kaptain was nominated for his efforts to improve and protect local waterways in the Fox River Valley. He was a founding member of the Fox River Study Group, which helped develop the Fox River Implementation Plan to address water quality impairments throughout the Fox River watershed. He currently serves on the board and as chairperson of the Northwest Water Planning Alliance (NWPA), which includes more than 80 communities, collaboratively planning to ensure a sustainable water supply for the future.
Kaptain was pivotal in gaining Trout Park River's Edge designation as an Illinois Land and Water Reserve by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. In addition, he and the Elgin City Council approved four city waterway sites to become a part of the Fabulous Fox River Water Trail, a 202-mile route that starts at Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin and ends where the Fox River joins the Illinois River in Ottawa, Illinois. Recently, the U.S. Department of the Interior designated the Fabulous Fox Water Trail as part of the National Water Trails System.
"I am honored to be named this year's recipient of the IWEA Public Official Award," Kaptain says. "It takes a community to help improve and protect our waterways, so I want to share this honor with the many people I have worked with who were and are a part of those efforts."
The IWEA Public Official Award is presented to a public official who has made a significant contribution in the areas of clean water legislation, public policy, government service or another area of public prominence that result in improvements to the environment.
Kaptain has served on the Elgin City Council since 2005. He was elected Mayor in 2011. Kaptain worked at the Fox River Water Reclamation District for 32 years, where he served as chief chemist, lab manager and director of process control.