The Sierra Club, including the Piasa Palisades Group, is a non-profit, member-supported, public interest organization that seeks to:
- Explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth;
- Practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources;
- Educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment;
- Use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.
Lying at the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois rivers, the Piasa Palisades region of downstate Illinois is a unique ecosystem that contains the beautiful oak-hickory forests of Pere Marquette State Park, the historic Great River Road Scenic Byway, and rich riverine floodplains. Wintering bald eagles roost along the forested limestone bluffs of the Mississippi River while endangered yellow-crowned night herons nest in this area's fertile wetlands.
This region is part of the St. Louis metropolitan area, putting critical wetland and floodplain habitat at risk from encroaching urban sprawl. Subdivisions and shopping centers now outnumber contiguous forests, industrial farming poses a growing threat to water quality and natural resources, and polluting industries harm the region's air quality.
The Piasa Palisades Group of the Sierra Club has been active in the Metro East area since 1972. With more than 800 local members, an established network of activists led by a devoted nine-member Executive Committee, and positive working relationships with local administrative decision-makers, this group has long been an environmental leader in downstate Illinois. Through its Three Rivers Project, the Piasa Palisades Group has been working since 2000 to successfully protect this region from sprawl, unsustainable agriculture, air and water pollution, wetlands destruction, and deforestation.