Illinois joins in Great Lakes restoration and
Send a link to a friend
Gov. Blagojevich signs Great Lakes
[DEC. 4, 2004]
CHICAGO -- On Friday Gov.
Rod Blagojevich joined presidential Cabinet secretaries, members
of the Great Lakes congressional delegation, governors, mayors and
tribal leaders in signing the
Great Lakes Declaration at the ceremonial conveners meeting held
by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael
Leavitt in Chicago. Gov. Blagojevich pledged his support for
developing a clear strategy for actions to protect and restore the
Great Lakes through a collaborative process.
"Today's agreement marks an important
milestone in the partnership among the federal government, the
states and cities that are so fortunate to have Great Lakes
shoreline," said Gov. Blagojevich. "Together we can better leverage
our efforts to enhance this national resource we all share. We know
that our efforts and additional investments in the Great Lakes will
be rewarded many times over."
Gov. Blagojevich noted that Illinois is working with a variety of
governmental and private groups to move forward on several fronts to
protect Lake Michigan. Over the years, Illinois has developed
regulations to ensure Lake Michigan water is used efficiently and
economically. The "deep tunnel" project and other infrastructure and
sustainable management improvements have vastly reduced storm water
overflows and other pollutants from entering the lake.
Last month, Gov. Blagojevich
announced that Illinois will join the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency's Coastal Management Program to secure additional funds to
protect the state's 63-mile portion of Lake Michigan's shoreline.
Recently, Illinois contributed $1.8
million and joined the U.S. EPA, the Corps of Engineers and other
Great Lakes states in erecting a second electronic barrier to stop
Asian carp and other destructive species from invading Lake
Michigan. Gov. Blagojevich said Friday that additional funds are
necessary to convert the existing demonstration barrier to a
permanent facility and operate both barriers. The state estimates
this will cost about $400,000 a year.
In addition, Waukegan Harbor,
designated as Illinois' only "area of concern," continues to make a
steady comeback, with the removal of 1 million pounds of
contaminated sediments. Gov. Blagojevich noted, however, that much
more must be done at Waukegan and elsewhere along the shoreline to
protect the economic and recreational assets that Lake Michigan
[to top of second column in
Nearly 7 million Illinois residents
-- more than half the state's population -- live in the northeastern
Illinois and greater Chicago metropolitan area and rely on Lake
Michigan for drinking water. Great Lakes fishing and shipping
industries make significant contributions to the state's economy.
"Lake Michigan is Chicago's front
yard; its magnificent vistas are a perfect complement to the many
amenities that draw visitors from all over to this world-class
city," said Gov. Blagojevich. "The Great Lakes are truly a national
Gov. Blagojevich praised the
Illinois congressional delegation, including U.S. Reps. Rahm
Emanuel, D-5, and Mark Kirk, R-10, and Chicago Mayor Richard M.
Daley for their energy and leadership on Great Lakes issues.
"Lake Michigan has an extraordinary
impact on our economy and quality of life here in Illinois," said
Gov. Blagojevich. "My administration looks forward to accelerating
our efforts along with all of you to protect this national treasure
for our children and grandchildren."
Below are fact
sheets from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the
Illinois Department of Natural Resources summarizing ongoing state
efforts to protect Lake Michigan.
[News release from the
Continuing efforts to protect Lake Michigan
By the Illinois Environmental
annually to study and assess Lake Michigan water quality in
cooperation with the city of Chicago.
million in low-interest Drinking Water Revolving Loan funds since
January 2003 to public water systems using Lake Michigan as their
water source ($3.3 million federal, $0.7 million state).
annually to analyze Lake Michigan fish samples and interpret
results in order to issue fish consumption advisories.
staff resources annually to participate on multi-agency panel to
identify sources of high E. coli found at some Lake Michigan
for nonpoint source pollution environmental exhibits and education
and outreach projects in areas directly affecting Lake Michigan
($250,000 federal, $100,000 state and local).
in 2003 to support the roof greening technology demonstration
project for developers, homebuilders and conservationists as an
ecologically and aesthetically friendly way to reduce urban
nonpoint source pollution ($532,100 federal, $354,800 state and
million in low-interest Clean Water Revolving Loan funds since
January 2003 for the control of combined sewer overflows in the
Lake Michigan basin ($113.2 federal, $23.2 state).
million in Clean Water Revolving Loan funds to the Metropolitan
Water Reclamation District since January 2003 for the Tunnel and
Reservoir Plan for the control of combined sewer overflows in the
Lake Michigan basin ($95.6 million federal, $19.6 million state).
for mercury reduction initiatives that provide for collection of
mercury-containing products at schools and for community education
and outreach programs.
in staff resources annually to coordinate activities affecting the
Waukegan Harbor area of concern.
to develop interactive geographic information system mapping tools
for use by agency professionals and the public through the
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Internet site.
for participation in the Air Transport Committee for Lake Michigan
to identify sources of targeted priority pollutants contributing
to air deposition into Lake Michigan.
million expended since 2003 to conduct household hazardous waste
collections in Cook and Lake counties.
for oversight of federal activities at Fort Sheridan, located 25
miles north of Chicago along the shore of Lake Michigan. This was
the first Base Realignment and Closure site in Illinois and in
USEPA Region V to successfully transfer all transferable property
(312 acres) for redevelopment and parkland. Significant work has
been done to prevent contamination at the site from reaching Lake
Michigan, including the removal of contaminated sediments and
installation of shoreline erosion protection systems.
Environmental Protection Agency]
the Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Replace eight miles of outdated and inadequate shoreline
protection structure, following design from U.S. Army Corps of
Illinois Beach cleanup:
Contractual services for asbestos cleanup.
$1,700,000 aquatic nuisance species permanent electric dispersal
barrier: Electric barrier
to be placed in Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal to reduce the risk
of inter-basin transfer of non-desirable aquatic species between
Mississippi River and Great Lakes.
Great Lakes water level report study and publication:
To be conducted by the Illinois State Water Survey.
Cook County drainage network operation:
Data collection used by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to account
for diversion of water from Lake Michigan.
per year geological mapping:
Contribution to Central Great Lakes
Geological Mapping Coalition for ongoing compilation of data.
Internet Great Lakes Basin climate maps and data:
Compile climate data for maps of the
Great Lakes Basin.
Waukegan river water quality improvements:
Joint project with the Illinois
Environmental Protection Agency, city of Waukegan and Waukegan
Park District to improve quality of water feeding from Waukegan
River into Lake Michigan.
sediment core analysis and collection:
Samples from North Point Marina and
Waukegan Harbor Dredge Maintenance Area studied for suitability to
use in Lake Michigan beach nourishment.
establishment of Lake County stream monitoring stations:
To study two tributary streams to Lake Michigan, affecting
National Atmospheric Deposition Program:
To monitor sulfate deposits in Lake Michigan Basin on a weekly
industrial site cleanup and wetland restoration:
Lake Calumet watershed restoration of state-designated natural
areas previously used by industry.
$250,000 groundwater study: Examination of northeastern
Illinois groundwater availability and quality, including potential
future demands on Lake Michigan.
Department of Natural Resources]
< Top Stories index
Back to top
Sports | Business |
Rural Review |
Teaching & Learning
Home and Family |
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Letters to the Editor