Manito, IL - Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn joined others today, Friday, June 4, 2004, in celebrating the official groundbreaking of the Spring Lake Bottoms project, a 411-acre wetland restoration project along the Illinois River in Tazewell County, IL. Ducks Unlimited recently acquired this land and enrolled it into the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) for long-term conservation.
This development is possible because of the combined efforts of Ducks Unlimited and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, under the authority of the Wetlands Reserve Program.
“The Spring Lake Bottoms project exemplifies an innovative solution to the problem of dwindling wetlands, and I commend Ducks Unlimited, and the many other organizations who have come together to accomplish this task,” said Quinn, Chairman of the Illinois River Coordinating Council. “Wetlands are the kidneys of our watersheds, cleansing waterways and improving habitat for ducks, other migratory birds, and other wildlife.”
Once restored, Spring Lake Bottoms will feature representative examples of numerous types of wetlands once common throughout the Illinois River valley. “Wetlands are a critical component to the ‘healthful environment’ guaranteed to all Illinois citizens in our state’s Constitution,” said Quinn.
Ducks Unlimited is an organization concerned with the future of waterfowl, and is the world’s largest and most effective wetland conservation organization. Because of their efforts, over 10 million acres of wildlife habitat has been conserved.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service and Ducks Unlimited have worked closely together to develop a restoration plan for the site.
Quinn is chairman of the Illinois River Coordinating Council; a group of diverse citizens, nonprofit organizations, state and federal agencies, sportsmen and river enthusiasts. The Council coordinates funding for river restoration in the sprawling Illinois River watershed, which includes not only the Illinois River, but also its tributaries: Calumet, Chicago, DesPlaines, DuPage, Fox, Kankakee, La Moine, Mackinaw, Sangamon, Spoon and Vermilion Rivers.