Illinois to Join Coastal Zone Management Program

Michael Chrzastowski (far left) watches Illinois Governor Pat Quinn sign an Executive Order furthering the Illinois application to the NOAA Coastal Zone Management Program. Senior coastal geologist Michael Chrzastowski was an invited guest to witness the signing of an Executive Order by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn at Loyola University in Chicago on December 10, 2010. This Executive Order marks a major milestone in the continuing Illinois effort to join the federal Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Illinois is the only coastal state in the nation that is not part of CZM, a federal coastal program that began in the 1970s. However, Illinois is now on track to enter the program in late 2011. The Executive Order commits all State agencies concerned with Lake Michigan issues to support and comply with the State's pending CZM program. Once final application materials are approved by NOAA, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will receive approximately $2 million annually for project grants addressing stewardship, research, and education along the Illinois coast. Never before has the state had such a sustained budget stream designated specifically for the Illinois coast. The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) played a major role in advancing the state's CZM application to reach this stage. The CZM program will also provide the ISGS with funding opportunities for research, applied studies, and outreach related to Illinois coastal geology.