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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2001

Ryan Announces Two Grants for Fox River, Upper Des Plaines Watersheds

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced a $2,062,189 grant to the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission (NIPC) to improve water quality in the Fox River watershed and its tributaries and a $378,237 grant for four projects in the Upper Des Plaines River watershed.

"This is another example of how state government works closely with local planning agencies on environmental issues," Governor Ryan said. "These enhancements to our waterways ensure that future generations will enjoy them as well."

The first agreement calls for NIPC to work with the Fox Ecosystem Partnership to develop a Watershed Implementation Plan for components of Nippersink Creek, lower Tyler Creek, Otter Creek and Brewster Creek. Development of a biofiltration system within a proposed parking lot in Batavia, stabilization of Fox River and tributary streambanks, and work along the Elgin riverfront are also planned.

The Upper Des Plaines River grant will be used for projects on Indian Creek, the Sylvan Lake at Maple Park in Lake County, East Pond in the Rivershire community in Lincolnshire, restoration of wetlands in northeast Illinois, and development of a watershed implementation plan for the Upper Des Plaines. That project will include restoration of the floodplain within the Reed-Turner Woodland Nature Preserve. Under the agreement, NIPC will be required to establish a webpage devoted to educating internet audiences about pollution control efforts in the Indian Creek watershed.

The Maple Park component will include stabilizing both banks along 600 feet of a stream tributary to Sylvan Lake and restoration of a .33 acre bottomland floodplain and approximately 1 acre of savanna woodland.

The Rivershire project will stabilize 2,970 feet of eroding shoreline on the East Pond.

Working with the Liberty Prairie Conservancy, NIPC will develop plans for restoring wetlands in northwestern Illinois.

Under the Fox River grant agreement, a little more than 43 acres of wetlands and 28.5 acres of upland woods will be restored along a section of Tyler Creek between Randall Road and the Soo Line railroad in Elgin.

Eroding streambanks will be targeted for stabilization on a segment of Otter Creek, a tributary of Ferson Creek and the Fox River. That work will also protect the quality of the adjacent Otter Creek Bend Wetland, a 340 acre wetland park, in St. Charles township.

Along Brewster Creek, a dam in the 4.3 acre Willow Lake at the YWCA camp in Elgin will be removed. This will restore a meandering stream channel and a four-acre wetland area.

At Batavia, a biofiltration system will be developed for the center median of a parking lot at West Main Street Park. Plants within the median will reduce pollutants from the parking lot runoff. Runoff ultimately will enter a detention basin before entering Blackberry Creek, a Fox River tributary.

Commenting on the broad scope of the projects, IEPA Director Tom Skinner said "The Fox River is a gem among Illinois' water resources and is already the beneficiary of years of restoration and enhancement work. Additional efforts like these broad-based approaches will help assure that the Fox River continues to be protected and improved for the future." Funding for these projects comes from the U.S. EPA section 319 financial assistance grant program, which is administered by the Illinois EPA.


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