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March 23, 2001

Governor Ryan Announces Eight Clean Lakes Grants

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that eight Clean Lakes Program grants totaling $965,372 have been approved to begin or continue lake improvement projects at 11 lakes around the state.

"We must be committed to preserving the natural resources of our state," Governor Ryan said. "These funds will allow the local communities to make necessary improvements that will improve the quality of life in and around the lakes."

Five of the grants will fund Phase I studies to identify problems and design corrective actions for lakes at Centralia, Staunton, two lakes at Hillsboro, and the Kingsbury Park District in Bond County. The remaining grant funds will allow implementation of restoration and protection work at Channel and Catherine Lakes in the Fox River waterway, three lakes at the Morton Arboretum, and Woods Creek Lake at Lake in the Hills.

Funding will come from the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Lakes Program. The program is funded by Conservation 2000, a $100 million state initiative protecting Illinois' natural resources and expanding outdoor recreation. Illinois is one of only a handful of states providing long-term funding to safeguard its valuable lakes.

"This kind of help is invaluable in stopping lake degradation in its early stages," Illinois EPA Director Tom Skinner said. "Governor Ryan's forward-looking support of our Illinois lakes helps us ensure that these valuable resources will be enjoyed by future generations."

At Channel and Catherine Lakes, the grant will fund upgrading of an existing aeration system and adding an additional aeration system to fully oxygenate the water column of the two lakes. Rehabilitation of fish population and habitat structures are also planned, along with continuing efforts to bring communities of noxious exotic plants under control.

At Morton Arboretum, work will include shoreline stabilization at Meadow and Marmo lakes and Sterling Pond, as well as reduction of algal blooms at all three waterbodies.

At the Arboretum's Meadow Lake, water level stabilization work is also planned to make the lake more aesthetically pleasing and improve the habitat for fish and aquatic plants.

Work at Woods Creek Lake will include shoreline stabilization, macrophyte (water plants) management, and a citizen education component focusing on lake systems.

Shoreline stabilization projects are important because protected shorelines filter runoff, remove harmful chemicals and nutrients and protect lake edges from wave and ice damage. They also provide an aquatic habitat to maintain a healthy ecosystem balance. By contrast, unchecked erosion can result in degraded water quality, reduced aquatic habitat, impaired aesthetics and reduced property values.

Separate grants have been approved for Hillsboro Lake and Glen Shoals Lake, both at Hillsboro. A $75,000 grant will support studies to determine the causes and sources of pollution and water quality degradation at Glen Shoals Lake, in a Phase I study that will also propose feasible alternative to protect and restore the lake. Glen Shoals Lake is a drinking water source waterbody currently suffering from shoreline erosion problems.

A $34,800 Phase I study is planned for the Hillsboro Lake project. Hillsboro Lake is also a source of drinking water and has siltation problems and periodic algal blooms that affect taste and odor. Shoreline erosion problems also exist at Hillsboro Lake.

At Staunton, a $59,897 grant will support a study to protect and improve the City reservoir that serves as a source of drinking water. It intermittently has algal blooms that can affect taste and odor. In addition, the reservoir has problems with high turbidity, and requires corrective action to halt shoreline erosion.

The $75,000 grant for Raccoon Lake at Centralia will protect the community's source of drinking water. The lake suffers from significant loss of capacity in the lake's upper end because of siltation. High turbidity is also associated with the silting problems.

Patriot's Park Lake is a small city park at Greenville in Bond County. A $43,200 grant will allow the first water quality analysis of the lake to be done during the Phase I effort, which will also seek to determine the cause of heavy siltation and high turbidity of the lake. Turbidity reflects the amount of solids suspended in water, both organic and inorganic. High turbidity can influence a lake's transparency, color, habitat quality, recreational value and overall ecosystem health.


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