CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at a signing ceremony celebrating approval of the Illinois Coastal Management Program (ICMP). Today’s signing makes Illinois one of 34 states and U.S. territories providing management of coastal resources for sustainable development and protection of natural resources on more than 95,000 miles of ocean and Great Lakes shorelines.
“This is an important milestone for Illinois as we work with our federal partners to preserve, protect, restore and enhance coastal resources,” Governor Quinn said. "This partnership will benefit citizens and visitors now and for generations to come."
Under the Illinois Coastal Management Program (ICMP), the state will focus efforts on developing sustainable solutions to combat and control invasive species; water and waterfront-related economic development initiatives; sustainable development that mitigates and adapts to climate change; public access and recreation; restoring habitats, ecosystems and natural areas; addressing storm water management and pollution prevention; and cleanups of industrial sites and harbors.
“NOAA’s coastal programs provide an essential link to state coastal stakeholders and communities, ultimately helping to manage and protect the nation’s valuable ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources,” said Dr. Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator.
“When Chicagoland residents are asked their favorite part about living in the Windy City, the overwhelming response is the Lake Michigan lakefront. Lake Michigan, like all of the Great Lakes and most of the world’s great bodies of water, faces many challenges,” said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). “The Illinois Coastal Management Program will give our state access to the resources it needs to address those challenges and protect this beautiful shoreline.”
The Illinois coast extends along 63 miles of the Lake Michigan shore and is one of the most densely populated coastal areas in the Great Lakes Region. Federal approval of the ICMP makes Illinois eligible to receive approximately $2 million annually of federal funding to assist in program implementation. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has been designated as the lead state agency responsible for administering federal funding to go toward eligible local projects.
“Being a coastal management partner will now allow us to develop the Millennium Reserve. It also enables us to further invest in restoring our ecosystems, and meet the demands for clean water in northeast Illinois,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller.
The federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZM) was passed by Congress in 1972. The National CZM Program, a voluntary partnership between the federal government, and U.S. coastal and Great Lake states and territories, is working with coastal states to address the nation’s most pressing coastal issues including climate change, ocean planning and planning for energy facilities and development.
For more information on the Illinois Coastal Management Program, check the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov/cmp.