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GLIN==> Robinson announces new Commission initiatives to ensure the region's environmental and economic prosperity

For immediate release

Contact: Nathaniel E. Robinson, Chairman of the Board
E-mail: robinsn@board.tec.wi.us
Phone: 608-266-7257

Robinson announces new Commission initiatives to ensure the region's 
environmental and economic prosperity

Ann Arbor, Mich. - Nathaniel E. Robinson, chairman of the Board of the 
Great Lakes Commission, has announced a series of organizational 
initiatives to help ensure environmental and economic prosperity for the 
Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region. "This region is experiencing an 
unprecedented number of public policy challenges and opportunities, and 
it is imperative that the Great Lakes Commission is well positioned to 
be both a leader and a partner," notes Robinson. "Building on our past 
success, we plan to give our world-class resource just what it needs: a 
world class organization that serves its state and provincial members by 
providing an objective and effective voice on the leading issues of our 
day." Toward this end, several organizational initiatives are underway:

The position of President/Chief Executive Officer has been established 
and filled by Dr. Michael J. Donahue , who previously held the title of 
executive director. "This title change acknowledges the evolution of the 
senior staff position in recent years, and the full breadth of 
associated responsibilities," explains Robinson. "Dr. Donahue has been 
the key to the unprecedented growth and stature of this organization, 
and has a well-deserved reputation for getting things done." The title 
change was unanimously endorsed by the Board of Directors in mid-March, 
at which time Donahue was commended, by unanimous vote, for his 
leadership in moving Commission priorities forward.

In a related action, the Executive Committee has been retitled "Board of 
Directors" to better acknowledge the role and responsibilities of state 
delegation chairs in guiding the organization's overall direction. And, 
the position of "Immediate Past Chair" has been established to recognize 
and fully employ the expertise of members who have served in a 
leadership role. Irene Brooks of Pennsylvania presently holds this title.

The Commission has released its U.S. federal legislative and 
appropriations priorities in the form of "The Great Lakes Program to 
Ensure Environmental and Economic Prosperity." The theme and direction 
of this year's statement was engineered by Robinson and endorsed by the 
Great Lakes Commission membership. The statement presents 39 "priority 
actions" under seven themes: cleaning up toxic hot spots; shutting the 
door on invasive species; controlling nonpoint source pollution; 
restoring and conserving wetlands and critical coastal habitat; ensuring 
the sustainable use of our water resources; strengthening our decision 
support capability; and enhancing the commercial and recreational value 
of our waterways.

"The statement is presented as a work in progress," Robinson states. "It 
will guide Commission advocacy efforts and also contribute to regionwide 
consensus on a large-scale legislative/appropriations package." The 
public can access The Great Lakes Program via the Commission's web site 
at http://www.glc.org

The Great Lakes Commission is engaging in a feasibility study for an 
Endowment Fund intended to augment member dues and provide the resources 
needed for enhanced advocacy efforts and special projects. The 
Commission, given its nonprofit status, is able to accept tax deductible 
charitable contributions that can help advance its efforts to ensure 
environmental and economic prosperity for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence 
region. "The Commission's advocacy role is founded in state and U.S. 
federal law and, as such, the organization is ideally positioned to 
advance the vision, goals and objectives of its membership," states 
Robinson. "An endowment fund would provide everyone -- organizations and 
individuals alike -- an opportunity to promote informed decisions on key 
public policy issues."

The Commission's 2001 Semiannual Meeting , to be held May 15-16 in Ann 
Arbor, Mich., will provide the membership -- and the entire Great 
Lakes-St. Lawrence Community -- with an opportunity to help shape future 
organizational priorities. Breakout sessions will allow all interested 
parties to focus on current and emerging issues that include resource 
management and environmental quality, communications and information 
management, and transportation and sustainable development. Special 
sessions will highlight current efforts to address water management/lake 
level issues, as well as oil and gas drilling in the Great Lakes. A 
preliminary program (PDF) and registration form (PDF) can be accessed at 
http://www.glc.org/announce/01/3-01semiannual.html; please note the 
requested registration deadline of May 4.

Readers are invited to consult the Commission's web site 
(http://www.glc.org/) to review its recently released 2000 Annual 
Report, and learn about more organizational initiatives that will help 
advance the region's environmental and economic prosperity.

The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Nathaniel E. Robinson 
(Wisconsin), is a nonpartisan, binational compact agency created by 
state and U.S. federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, 
healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great Lakes-St. 
Lawrence region and its residents. The Commission consists of state 
legislators, agency officials and governors' appointees from its eight 
member states. Associate membership for Ontario and Québec was 
established through the signing of a "Declaration of Partnership." The 
Commission maintains a formal Observer program involving U.S. and 
Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and 
other regional interests. The Commission offices are located in Ann 
Arbor, Michigan.

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