FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Governor Quinn Proclaims "Chicago River Summit Day" in Illinois
CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today proclaimed October 3 "Chicago River Summit Day" to highlight stewardship efforts of the Friends of the Chicago River and other advocates on restoring and improving one of America's great urban waterways.
"Ten years ago - as Lieutenant Governor - I helped the Friends of the Chicago River convene the first Chicago River Summit," Governor Quinn said. "This forum brought together diverse voices: businesses which relied on the River, clean water advocates, paddlers, residents who lived near the River, anglers, academics and public officials. At that inaugural Summit, we pledged to make the Chicago River 'fishable and swimmable' by 2020, and we are well on our way. Water quality has improved, new species inhabit former dead zones, recreational use of the River has blossomed and rusting factories have given way to sleek townhouses."
The summit - being held today in conjunction this fall with the 35th anniversary of the Friends of the Chicago River - has as its theme "Rewilding and the Urban Environment: How Urban Meets Wild" with presentations on how improvements in the Chicago River have improved a connection to nature in an urban environment.
For example, last summer the Friends of the Chicago River and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources teamed up on the stocking of 30,000 channel catfish, and the installation of 400 fish habitat structures, in the Chicago River system to enhance fishing opportunities. The project is supported by a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
"When Friends of the Chicago River formed 35 years ago, few would have been able to envision the progress that has been made to restore the river to health," said IDNR Director Marc Miller. "It took the commitment of partners including government agencies, non-profit groups, businesses and many others to work together towards the vision of a cleaner, more viable Chicago River."
"As stakeholders meet Friday for the 10th Annual Chicago River Summit, I have proclaimed this as 'Chicago River Summit Day' across Illinois, and salute the Friends of the Chicago River for their stewardship, leadership and vision," Governor Quinn added.
(See below text of Governor Quinn's proclamation)
WHEREAS, the State of Illinois has been uniquely defined geographically, historically, and economically by its rivers and other waterways which are treasures that should be preserved and saved for all time; and,
WHEREAS, noteworthy for its beauty and natural, man-made history, one of the most important rivers in Illinois is the Chicago River,; and,
WHEREAS, the Chicago River has a combined length of 156 miles and runs through the City of Chicago, including its center, the Chicago Loop; and,
WHEREAS, the Chicago River is increasingly valued as a hub for culture, tourism, and recreation; and,
WHEREAS, the Chicago River is the lifeblood of the Chicago Region and intersects urban planning, biodiversity, architectural majesty, recreation, transportation, clean water, and commerce; and,
WHEREAS, countless species of fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, insects, and plants rely on the Chicago River; and,
WHEREAS, the Chicago River is an epicenter for culture and tourism and is consistently being transformed to meet the needs of the people of our state and its wildlife inhabitants; and,
WHEREAS, the stewardship of the Chicago River is a noble duty proudly assumed by elected and non-elected government officials at the state, county and local levels, by advocates, and by all who use it for commerce or recreation. Through continued collaboration, the Chicago River will be improved for future generations; and,
WHEREAS, for 35 years, Friends of the Chicago River has been a leading advocate for stewardship, and helped make the Chicago River cleaner, healthier, and more beautiful; and,
WHEREAS, since 2004, the Chicago River Summit has provided an open forum for the voices of those who care about the Chicago River, brought together diverse interests and crafted strategies for policy-makers; and,
WHEREAS, with a focus on Rewilding and the Urban Environment, the 10th Annual Chicago River Summit will take place on October 3, 2014. It is important that everyone attending the Chicago River Summit take advantage of its presentations, guest speakers, and networking opportunities; and,
THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Governor of the State of Illinois, do hereby proclaim October 3, 2014, as CHICAGO RIVER SUMMIT DAY in Illinois, in recognition of the scenic Chicago River's contributions to the Land of Lincoln and today's 10th annual event.
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