|Simon: Illinois River sites gain international prestige|
|News Releases - Environment, Weather & Nature|
|Written by Justin Stofferahn|
|Tuesday, 07 August 2012 11:08|
LEWISTOWN – Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will dedicate two wetlands along the Illinois River that gained international prestige this year for turning flood-prone farmland into natural habitats for endangered and native species and plants. Restoration of one wetland, the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge near Hennepin, helped bring back the pied-billed grebe from risk of extinction in Illinois.
The dedication ceremony for the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge and the Emiquon Complex near Lewistown comes during a meeting of the Illinois River Coordinating Council, which Simon chairs. The marshy ecosystems were designated Wetlands of International Importance by the federal government in accordance with the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, an international treaty signed by 162 nations committed to the protection of wetlands. The designation recognizes the sites as international models of restoration and expresses the government’s commitment to maintaining the ecological character of the site, Simon said.
The celebration, dubbed A Great Day for the Illinois River, will be held concurrently at the Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown and the Dixon Refuge. Speakers at the two sites will be connected through a live video feed. After the river council meeting, attendees at Emiquon will have an opportunity to canoe and kayak, while visitors at Dixon can take a guided nature walk.
DATE: Wednesday, Aug. 8
TIME: 1:15 p.m. media availability, 1:30 meeting start
LOCATION: Dickson Mounds Museum, 10956 North Dickson Mounds Road, Lewistown
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