Last month we posted Public Access to Illinois Waterways, that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources was working on the development of a revised State Water Plan, and announced the opportunity for the public to review the recommendations and provide feedback.
Menard County Trails & Greenways provided the following comments. (see below). Public feedback will be used to further develop a State Water Plan Draft Report, and public outreach meetings will be held in November 2021 to allow input to the report. We’ll keep you posted.
Dear Illinois State Water Plan Task Force,
Thank you for the opportunity to provide input on the revised water plan for the State of Illinois. To this end, Menard County Trails and Greenways (MCTG) submits the following key priorities for consideration by the Illinois State Water Plan Task Force. MCTG is a nonprofit organization in central Illinois that promotes the development and use of a network of land and water trails that connect people to natural and cultural resources, encourages recreation, and advances the conservation of the county’s unique natural and cultural resources for the benefit of all. One important water source that our group works to protect is the Sangamon River, which flows through Menard County.
Key water plan priorities:
- Water quality: Strengthen efforts to reduce runoff of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and road salt, which may cause significant environmental damage when found in rivers and lakes; enforce anti-littering laws.
- Access to waterways: Support and promote the use of rivers by non consumptive and low-impact craft such as canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddleboards. There are many not-for-profit organizations in our state that are working on creating water trails, which by definition, require access/egress points within reasonable distances for paddlers to launch and exit. Such sites do not need much infrastructure, but most importantly, permission to access the waterway.
- Low-head dam removal: Fund low-head dam removal projects to eliminate “drowning machines” and improve the free flow of rivers, fish habitat and connected ecosystems, as well as recreational opportunities for individuals using the river to fish, paddle, boat, or simply enjoy nature.
Thank you again for the opportunity to provide input on the revised water plan. Please reach out with any questions. We look forward to learning more about the final water plan.
Vice President, Menard County Trails & Greenways