HAVANNA, IL - Today Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn emphasized the significance of the landmark Clean Water Initiative that will improve Illinois’ ability to clean its waterways and develop its riverbanks. Quinn also saluted the city of Havana on its innovative downtown riverfront revitalization plan.
“With the Clean Water Initiative, waterways across Illinois can be preserved and restored to support biological diversity for the enjoyment and use of both residents and visitors,” said Quinn, explaining that the Clean Water Initiative could provide for a range of river preservation projects, such as wetlands restoration, sewage treatment, sediment removal and river easement land acquisition.
Speaking on the banks of the Illinois River in Havana, Quinn explained that the Clean Water Initiative, authorized by the Illinois General Assembly in the spring legislative session, was designed to help Illinois cities such as Havana with water improvement initiatives.
“Havana is becoming one of the places to visit in Central Illinois – for visitors and the abundant migratory waterfowl alike,” said Quinn. “With the help of The Nature Conservancy and the US Wildlife and Fish Services, the nearby Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge and Emiquon Project continue to provide excellent habitat for migratory birds, fish and resident wildlife.”
Quinn cited a recent Illinois Natural History Survey, “Public Perceptions of Water Quality” that indicates water quality is a very important concern among Illinois residents – rated as a high priority by 59 percent of respondents.
“There is a pressing need in our state to improve water quality through the construction of wastewater facilities, improvement of flood control, removal of hazardous materials, and preservation of our environmental and natural resources,” said Quinn.
Quinn was joined by Havana Mayor Dale Roberts; Terry Svob, Economic Development Coordinator of Havana; State Rep. Rich Myers (R – Macomb); Mason County Clerk William Blessman; Doug Blodgett with The Nature Conservancy of Illinois; Ross Adams with the US Fish and Wildlife Service; and Tammy Watson with the Department of Natural Resources, among others.
As Lieutenant Governor, Quinn is Chairman of the Illinois River Coordinating Council (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.