PEORIA – October 20, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood are being recognized for their leadership of bipartisan efforts to protect and enhance the Illinois River at the 12th Biennial Governor’s Conference on Management of the Illinois River System being held in Peoria.
The ceremony recognizing the work of Governor Quinn and Secretary LaHood was conducted during a meeting of the Illinois River Coordinating Council on Tuesday at the Pere Marquette Hotel in Peoria. Governor Quinn chairs the council, which coordinates private and public programs focused on river restoration in the Illinois River watershed.
“Governor Quinn and Secretary LaHood have provided outstanding bipartisan leadership for a number of major Illinois River programs and projects,” said Robert W. Frazee, co-chair of the Governor’s Conference on Management of the Illinois River System and extension educator with the University of Illinois. “We thank them both for their dedication to restoring our Illinois River today and protecting our Illinois River for the future.”
“Support of Illinois River restoration and protection has been a mission of mine for many years because the Illinois River system is so vital to millions of our citizens and to the economy of our state,” Governor Quinn said. “Working with leaders like Ray LaHood, other federal, state and local officials, and citizens throughout our state, we have made progress. We all recognize that the Illinois River and its tributaries really are the lifeblood of Illinois and our nation.”
Governor Quinn has long been an advocate for natural resources protection, river restoration and cleanup, and environmental protection in the Illinois River basin, while Secretary LaHood was among the chief sponsors of a long list of Illinois River protection programs while serving in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995-2009.
Among the programs promoted by Governor Quinn and Secretary LaHood are the Illinois River 2020 Program, the Illinois River Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), the Illinois River Roads National Scenic Byways Designation, the Illinois River “Mud to Parks” Project, the Illinois River Navigation and Ecosystem Restoration Program (NESP), and the recent dredging and island construction in Lower Peoria Lake.
The public is invited to the Illinois River Coordinating Council meeting, to be held in the Pere Marquette Hotel Cotillion Ballroom on Oct. 20 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
The 12th Biennial Governor’s Conference on Management of the Illinois River System is being held at the Pere Marquette Hotel on Oct. 20-22. For more information on the conference: www.conferences.uiuc.edu/ilriver.