CHICAGO - Today Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn delivered the keynote address for the 2003 Annual Meeting of the Great Lakes Commission that will convene in Chicago on October 1- 3.
The meeting, themed “Thinking Regionally, Acting Locally,” is a gathering of Great Lakes Commission members, policy makers and key opinion leaders to address a range of issues involving environmental protection, resource management, transportation and economic development.
Quinn, a recent appointee to the Great Lakes Commission, welcomed delegates and addressed the importance of the Great Lakes, specifically Lake Michigan to the State of Illinois. Additionally, he discussed how the priorities of the Commission mirror those of the Illinois River Coordinating Council (IRCC), which he chairs.
“Just as the Great Lakes Commission is an effective forum for developing public policy for the greatest system of freshwater on the face of the earth, the Illinois River Coordinating Council helps to protect the land, waterways and natural resources of Illinois,” Quinn said.
As Lieutenant Governor, Quinn is Chairman of the IRCC, a diverse group of citizens, grassroots and not-for-profit organizations, state and federal agencies, and river enthusiasts. The IRCC coordinates all private and public funding for river restoration in the sprawling Illinois River Watershed.
Quinn also discussed eradicating Lake Michigan of toxic areas and invasive species; restoring and conserving wetlands and coastal habitat; and enhancing the commercial and recreational value of Illinois’ waterways.
Members of the Commission will hold discussions during various business sessions on promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great Lakes region and its residents. Commissioners, observers and other valued partners are expected to share perspectives on various pressing issues as the Great Lakes Commission formulates research, policy development and advocacy strategies for the year to come.
The Great Lakes Commission is a bi-national public agency that promotes the orderly, integrated and comprehensive development, use and conservation of the water and related natural resources of the Great Lakes basin and St. Lawrence River.
Quinn was appointed by Governor Rod R. Blagojevich to the Great Lakes Commission last month.