Illinois Coastal Management grants to benefit environment - Dallas News |

Illinois Coastal Management grants to benefit local environment projects

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Local environmental education projects along the Lake Michigan shoreline and in the Millennium Reserve-Calumet region have been awarded $730,000 of federal funds, Gov. Pat Quinn announced Saturday.

The projects, which were awarded grants of between $30,000 and $100,000, are part of the Illinois Coastal Management Program (ICMP).

This is the first series of grants funded through ICMP, which was officially formed in 2012 in an effort to protect natural resources on the Great Lakes.

"These important investments will protect and manage the incredible natural and cultural resources surrounding our beautiful Lake Michigan," Quinn said in a statement. "They will also involve thousands of students and residents of nearby communities in creating a better environment for all."

Among the grant recipients is Chicago Public Schools, which was awarded $100,000 for the Calumet is My Back Yard project that features about 600 high school students from 13 schools working to restore and protect 12 natural areas and waterways within the Calumet region.

Other projects that were awarded funding come from various public agencies and organizations, including the Chicago Park District; the Forest Preserve District of Cook County; The Field Museum; Friends of the Chicago River; City of Blue Island; League of Women Voters of Illinois Education Fund; Lake Forest Open Lands Association; Illinois Natural History Survey; Park District of Highland Park; Biodiversity Project; and Prologue, Inc.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources, which administers the ICMP, is accepting applications for the next round of grants—scheduled for spring 2014—from Nov. 1 through Dec. 16.

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