Time’s running out to apply for grants through the Illinois Coastal Management Grant Program - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Time’s running out to apply for grants through the Illinois Coastal Management Grant Program

Flickr CC: Don Harder

The Illinois Coastal Management Program was founded in January 2012 as a program within Ill. Department of Natural Resources. Illinois was the last of 35 states to participate in the coastal program, funded by the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration through their Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, and is charged with the goals of protecting, preserving and restoring the natural and cultural resources along the Illinois Lake Michigan shoreline. It is with these goals in mind that the Illinois Coastal Management Program is accepting applications for its Illinois Coastal Grants Program.

Applications for the current grant cycle are due this coming Monday, Dec. 16 at 5:00 pm. If you’re interested in applying for a grant, the Fall 2013 Grant Manual is full of helpful information.

Grant funding is available in the following project categories:

Coastal Environmental Education and Outreach – This category is aimed at developing an environmentally literate citizenry with the skills, knowledge and inclination to make well-informed choices concerning the environment, and that exercises these rights and responsibilities as members of the community. The grant program is prioritizing Community Projects, Teacher Professional Development, Outreach Projects and Permanent Educational Displays. The grant period will be April 1, 2014 through March 31, 2015.

Sustainable Coastal Planning – These projects should be designed to protect and enhance the ecological, social and economic health of the Illinois Coastal Zone in order to preserve coastal resources for current and future users. The planning process identifies community goals, evaluates specific concerns, develops actions and site designs to address goals and concerns and determines the resources needed to implement the plan. Examples of coastal planning include watershed plans, green infrastructure plans and specifications, and pollution prevention and control plans. The grant period will be April 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015.

Areas eligible for coastal zone funding.

Ill. Dept. of Natural Resources

This young grant program already has a lot to show for itself. During its Summer 2013 Grant Cycle, it focused solely on Coastal Environmental Education and Outreach Grants. One project from this cycle for which MPC sits on the task force is Bluestem Communications’ Calumet Guidebook Project. To fit in with the soon-to-be-announced work of the Millennium Reserve Steering Committee’s six-month planning process, the goals of the guidebook project are to research, write and design an educational guide and promotional piece to show off the natural and cultural assets of the Calumet region. Designed for a public audience of residents, visitors wanting to explore the area, restoration volunteers, students and others, this guide will celebrate the fantastic work that has been accomplished in the region.

The Illinois Coastal Grants Program provides an excellent opportunity for municipalities and groups who realize the importance of our water resources, and require extra funding to bring their visions for better water management to life. Between the coastal grants, the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund and several other small grant programs, there’s no time like the present to invest in the region’s water resources—apply today!


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