Local Grants Awarded to Improve Waterways
Water is one of the region's most valuable resources. Maintaining high water quality is important to the health of both residents and aquatic ecosystems in the region. This summer, two grant programs at the state and federal levels awarded a number of local communities and organizations grants to clean and improve local waterways. On August 15, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) awarded more than $2.6 million in Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grants to organizations and agencies such as the Chicago Park District, the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission, Shedd Aquarium, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the Delta Institute. Funds will be used to improve Lake Michigan water quality and beaches.
Additionally, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) awarded $5 million in Green Infrastructure Grants to decrease pollution in Illinois waterways from stormwater sources in July. Funded projects in northeastern Illinois include the City of Chicago's 35th Ward, Northbrook School District 28, the Beverly Area Planning Association, the Cities of Joliet, Aurora, and Elgin, and the Villages of Riverside, Elmwood Park, and Niles. The grants are tools for local communities to address polluted rain and snowmelt runoff through methods and practices that preserve or restore waterways' natural hydrology.
As delegated by the Governor, CMAP is responsible for the region's areawide water quality management plan and employs a collaborative watershed approach to planning that seeks to protect and/or remediate water quality. GO TO 2040 supports an integrated approach to water resources planning, which involves actions that protect and enhance water quality and quantity at all parts of the water cycle. To learn more about CMAP's water quality initiatives, please visit the Areawide Water Quality Management Plan page.