Environment & Weather
Governor Quinn Announces Inaugural Illinois Coastal Management Grants PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Brooke Anderson   
Monday, 14 October 2013 12:45

$730,000 in Investments Will Fund Environmental Projects Along Lake Michigan 

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today announced more than $730,000 in investments to support local environmental education projects along the Lake Michigan shoreline and in the Millennium Reserve-Calumet region. Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to protect our natural resources and ensure a clean and healthy environment for future generations.

“These important investments will protect and manage the incredible natural and cultural resources surrounding our beautiful Lake Michigan,” Governor Quinn said. “They will also involve thousands of students and residents of nearby communities in creating a better environment for all.”

The projects are part of the Illinois Coastal Management Program (ICMP), which was officially formed in 2012 at the direction of Governor Quinn to protect and manage the natural and cultural resources along the 63 miles of Illinois’ Lake Michigan shoreline. The ICMP Coastal Grants announced today are investments of federal funds in environmental education projects that help achieve one or more of the environmental priorities within the Illinois Lake Michigan Coastal Zone. These priorities include habitat, ecosystems and natural area restoration; priority rivers, lakes and harbors; invasive species; public access and recreation; sustainable development; and economic development.

“These projects will help thousands of people to learn more and do more in support of protecting and restoring the natural resources of the Lake Michigan shoreline, and the waterways and natural areas within the Millennium Reserve Calumet Core on Chicago’s south side,” Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller said. The department administers the Illinois Coastal Management Program.

For more information on the Illinois Coastal Management Program, visit the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov/cmp. Applications for the next round of grants for spring 2014 will be accepted from November 1 through December 16, 2013.

The Coastal Grant Program projects announced today include:

Expanding Youth Conservation Action in the Millennium Reserve – The Field Museum; $67,337

Through the “Expanding Young Conservation Action in the Millennium Reserve” project, the Field Museum will sustain and expand the scope and geography of its youth conservation action programming in the Illinois Coast Zone on Chicago’s South Side, with a special focus on the Millennium Reserve in the Calumet region. It is expected that 15 trained educators and 300 students will be working on year-long conservation projects.

Calumet is My Back Yard – Chicago Public Schools; $100,000

Calumet is My Backyard program participants are approximately 600 high school students from 13 Chicago Public Schools  – many with their first experience in natural areas – working to restore and protect 12 natural areas within the Calumet Region, providing over 6,000 hours of stewardship work and scientific investigation annually. The students focus on waterways in the Illinois Coastal Zone, including Lake Calumet, the Calumet River, the Little Calumet River, and the Grand Calumet River.

Think Beyond the Banks: Education and Outreach – Friends of the Chicago River; $30,806.67

“Think! Beyond the Banks” is a one-year, renewable outreach campaign that links river health and education with real world, everyday actions that improve the Chicago River. The campaign combines elements of Friends’ highly successful Chicago River Schools Network (CRSN) with new marketing materials and techniques to empower students to become river ambassadors within their schools, families and communities.

Experience Calumet Water Trails Community Workshops – City of Blue Island; $30,000

The City of Blue Island will hold a series of five workshops to raise awareness of Calumet area water trails, how water trails uniquely connect people to the ecological values of Calumet and to inspire stewardship activity.

Coastal Ambassadors Program – Chicago Park District; $96,371

The Chicago Park District (CPD) will create a new Coastal Ambassadors program to provide environmental education on coastal resources to thousands of children and families. Based on the successful Nature Oasis program in place at CPD, the team of educators will work with day campers, after school groups, families and other park customers through after school programs, field trips for day campers and family festivals.

Youth Outdoor Ambassadors – Forest Preserve District of Cook County; $99,115

The Forest Preserve District of Cook County will launch Youth Outdoor Ambassadors for the Calumet Region to facilitate youth and young adults having an active voice and role in the Forest Preserves.  The Ambassadors will identify which programs resonate with teens and how young people can become inspired to become lifelong advocates for nature.

Stormwater: From the Ground Up – League of Women Voters of Illinois Education Fund; $31,771.95

This project was born out of the April 18, 2013 storm in northeastern Illinois that caused widespread, destructive flooding.  Observing that most people did not understand how the storm sewer system worked, the Lake Michigan League of Women Voters will jointly conduct a campaign to educate citizens about problems associated with storm water runoff, emphasizing actions that individuals, communities and regions may take to prevent and alleviate flooding after rain events, with an emphasis on green infrastructure.

Lake Forest Ravine Education and Outreach Program – Lake Forest Open Lands Association; $74,036.70

The ravines of southern Lake Michigan play a critical role in protecting the water quality of the lake, preventing sediment runoff, protecting beaches, offering migrating birds a much-needed safe haven and protecting rare habitats native to this area. The Ravine Restoration and Outreach Program will create a comprehensive initiative to protect Lake Forest beaches and ravines, with education efforts and on-the-ground restoration.

AIS Outreach to Coastal Constituents – Illinois Natural History Survey; $38,500

Several aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) have been introduced into Lake Michigan via pathways including recreational boating and fishing, and intentional and accidental releases of invasive organisms in trade. Because prevention of introductions of new AIS is more cost effective than control or management of already established populations, prevention efforts will be promoted to recreational water users and water gardening hobbyists.

The Ripple Effect: Building a Community that Cares About Our Great Lake – Park District of Highland Park; $48,393

The Park District of Highland Park will develop interpretive signage, outreach materials, and purchase specialized science equipment to be used at their new Lakefront Interpretive Center opening in the summer of 2014 on Lake Michigan. The effort will enhance visitor learning about near-shore, dune and ravine ecosystems.

Millennium Reserve Regional Atlas – Biodiversity Project; $98,900

The project includes researching, writing and designing a report that outlines the great biodiversity of the Millennium Reserve region, with the Millennium Reserve Regional Atlas providing a resource for community leaders, local residents and educators to better understand the geologic, natural and human history of this unique region.

William Tillman Maritime Education Program – Prologue, Inc.; $57,210

This new program offers environmental education, job training and service learning for low-income, at-risk young people ages 16-24. Located along the Little Calumet River in Chicago’s Riverdale neighborhood and adjacent to Altgeld Gardens, it is a counterpart to Prologue’s new Tillman Maritime Academy, an alternative high school scheduled to open in fall 2014 for students who have struggled in traditional academic settings. The program will involve youth in a coastal and riparian setting working to gain employable skills and develop career pathways in maritime technology, waterway safety and conservation stewardship.


News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Natalie Linville- Mass   
Friday, 11 October 2013 12:35

East Moline, IL/October 10, 2013 – Chad Pregracke, President & Founder of Living Lands & Waters, a Quad City-based not-for-profit, organization dedicated to cleaning up the Mississippi River, has been named to the final 10 for CNN’s Hero of the Year.

The contest is sponsored by CNN and designed to support and recognize people and organizations who put themselves before others. To view the contestants, and vote for Pregracke, visit,  www.CNNHeroes.com, click “vote now”. You can vote via email and/or through Facebook. Voting is limited to once a day per person and closes Sunday, November 17th at 11:59pm PST.

“This is a real honor to be one of the finalists for this reward, however I know this organization would not be what it is without the media’s support.  Without their help in getting the message out about what people can do to clean their own rivers and streams, we wouldn’t be able to make the progress we have.  This effort literally takes thousands of volunteers and the media has helped us rally those volunteers and have made a real difference,” expresses Pregracke.

Each of the Top 10 CNN Heroes will receive a $50,000 grant.  One of the honorees, as voted by fans around the globe, will be named the CNN Hero of the Year and will receive an additional $250,000 grant to further aid their cause. Voting for the 2013 honorees can be done at www.CNNHeroes.com. Voters will also be able to view the honorees’ profiles on the site.

For the latest information about the Top 10 CNN Heroes, viewers and online users are encouraged to visit CNN Heroes on Facebook, follow @CNNHeroes on Twitter and use the hashtag #CNNHeroes.

About Chad Pregracke

Chad Pregracke started Living Lands & Waters in 1998 as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the beautification and restoration of America’s major rivers and to the education of people about environmental issues. From his single boat beginning, LL&W has grown to an internationally known organization with a fleet of barges and workboats. LL&W engages thousands of volunteers each year in river cleanups, hands-on environmental education workshops, the Great Mississippi River Cleanup, Adopt-a-River-Mile programs and the Million Trees Project.



Governor Quinn Opens Largest Annual Water Quality Exhibition in North America PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Brooke Anderson   
Monday, 07 October 2013 15:01

Proclaims October as “Water’s Worth It” Month in Illinois

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by thousands of water professionals from around the world to officially open the 86th annual Water Environment Federation Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC®) at McCormick Place in Chicago. Governor Quinn is committed to protecting the environment by modernizing Illinois’ water infrastructure and in recognition of the conference, he proclaimed October as “Water’s Worth It” Month in Illinois.

“Water is an essential and limited natural resource and Illinois is fortunate to have reliable access to clean water,” Governor Quinn said. “I encourage all Illinois residents to observe ‘Water’s Worth It’ month by recognizing the challenges involved in maintaining clean and safe water, and the need to maintain and modernize our water infrastructure. We are grateful to have dedicated water professionals and volunteers who work every day to ensure people have access to clean water."

Since its first meeting in Chicago in 1928, the conference has grown into the largest of its kind in North America. WEFTEC offers water quality professionals from around the world the best water quality education and training available today. Also recognized as the largest annual water quality exhibition in the world, the expansive show floor provides unparalleled access to the most cutting-edge technologies in the field; serves as a forum for domestic and international business opportunities; and promotes invaluable peer-to-peer networking between its 20,000 attendees. The 2013 conference runs from October 5-9.

Governor Quinn launched the $1 billion Illinois Clean Water Initiative in his 2012 State of the State Address to help local governments facing a critical need to overhaul aging drinking water and wastewater treatment plants and distribution and collection systems. The Clean Water Initiative is funded with annual federal grants, funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and additional principal and interest from loan repayments. No new state tax dollars are used.

“Governor Quinn’s Clean Water Initiative is absolutely vital for growing our economy and protecting Illinois’ environment for this and future generations,” Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director Lisa Bonnett said.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it is estimated the total water infrastructure needs in Illinois over the next 20 years total $32 billion, including $17 billion in wastewater projects (which is the 6th highest among the states) and $15 billion in drinking water projects (4th highest need in the nation).

To learn more about Governor Quinn’s Illinois Clean Water Initiative, visit CleanWater.Illinois.gov. To learn more about WEFTEC, visit weftec.org.


Governor Quinn Urges Residents to Take Advantage of State’s Cooling Centers to Beat the Heat PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Grant Klinzman   
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 15:24

More Than 100 State Cooling Centers Open Across Illinois

CHICAGO – With record-breaking temperatures expected this week, Governor Pat Quinn is urging residents to take advantage of the state’s cooling centers. Governor Quinn today opened more than 100 cooling centers throughout Illinois to help those without air conditioning beat the heat.

“I urge everyone in Illinois to take the proper precautions to stay safe and cool today as temperatures approach record-breaking highs,” Governor Quinn said. “The state’s cooling centers offer a clean, safe place to stay during the hottest part of the day.”

The cooling centers are located at Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) offices throughout the state. IDHS cooling centers are open to the public during regular business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to the IDHS cooling centers, the Illinois Tollway Oases in the Chicago area are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Governor Quinn and the Illinois Department of Public Health are encouraging Illinois residents to watch for signs of heat-related illnesses. These symptoms include headaches, skin that is hot to the touch, increased body temperature, loss of consciousness, seizures and irregular heartbeats.

To stay cool and avoid illness, people should increase their fluid intake but avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and sugar; decrease strenuous, outdoor physical activity; and remain in air-conditioning when possible.

The Illinois Department on Aging also encourages relatives and friends to make daily visits or calls to senior citizens living alone. When temperatures and humidity are extremely high, seniors and people with chronic health conditions should be monitored for dehydration and other effects of extreme heat. Additionally, seniors should eat lighter meals, take longer and more frequent rests, and drink plenty of fluids.

To find a cooling center near you, call the IDHS hotline at (800) 843-6154 or visit keepcool.illinois.gov.


Newsletter - National Weather Service PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Sandra Stevens   
Friday, 16 August 2013 14:31
The Summer 2013 issue of the National Weather Service Quad Cities' newsletter is now available on our website at http://www.weather.gov/quadcities/?n=additional-links#newsletter . This link also contains all past issues of our newsletter.  There is also a temporary link under the Top News of the Day section on our main web page

<< Start < Prev 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 Next > End >>

Page 32 of 96