Pat Quinn, Governor
IEPA Funds Watershed Protection and Enhancement Grants
Five organizations are awarded grants
Five organizations that are working to improve the quality of streams and lakes in Southwestern and Central Illinois were presented $50,000 grants from an environmental enforcement case settlement by Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Renee Cipriano in November 2003.
The announcements were made near a barge moored in the Mississippi River that is operated by the nationally-known "Living Lands and Waters" organization, that received one of the grants. The barge goes up and down the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers and working with local citizens, picks up trash along the shore, plants trees and provides environmental education.
The funds are a "Supplemental Environmental Project" (SEP) that was a part of a large enforcement settlement case that provided support for environmental projects in the Southwestern and Central portions of the state.
"With the current fiscal crisis facing state government, more than ever we will be looking to SEPs as a source of funding for important efforts like the ones we are announcing today," Director Cipriano said.
Illinois EPA recently launched a "SEP Idea Bank" seeking suggestions from citizens and interested groups for projects that could potentially be incorporated into future enforcement case settlements. Suggestions may be "deposited" through the Illinois EPA web site.
After announcing the grants to representatives of the five organizations, Director Cipriano, Living Lands and Waters founder and President Chad Pregracke and other guests participated in a tree planting in Alton's Riverfront Park.
The grant award to Living Lands and Waters will be used to help facilitate river cleanups and the River Bottom Forest Restoration Project, which will protect the watersheds by reducing nonpoint source pollution that enters the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. The river cleanups are community-based and involve local volunteer participation from diverse communities. Through direct, hands-on experience, volunteers observe the effects that litter, erosion and siltation have on water quality.
The other grant awards were to:
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