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Lake Michigan Watershed Ecosystem Partnership for Illinois
Illinois Coastal Management Plan Development
Of the 35 eligible coastal states, Illinois is the only state that has not yet officially joined the program. As a result, Illinois is foregoing an estimated $1.5 million-$2 million in "free" federal funding annually. In November 2004, Gov. Blagojevich announced his decision for the state's Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to submit Illinois' application to participate in the program.
The IDNR is now the lead agency managing Illinois' application, in cooperation with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, local governments and the federal government.
Cities, park districts and other organizations can use funding to reduce sewage overflows, prevent beach closings, restore natural areas, and enhance public access to areas within the Lake Michigan watershed. Congress amended the act in recent years to ensure federal consistency with local land use decisions. Within the next year, state and local governments will work together to develop priorities and specific plans for coastal protection projects.
Illinois can take advantage of the benefits of coordinating efforts with other Lake Michigan states and the federal government. It can also gain access to information and resources available from other participating states. Should Illinois decide it no longer wishes to participate in the program, it may do so at any time. Participation is not mandatory.
For more information on how you can get involved with the Illinois CMP development process, contact Angela Larsen, LMWEP coordinator, at email@example.com.