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GLIN==> Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Mayors Tackle Regional Problems, Opportunities

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release: November 22, 2002

Contact: Claude Mailloux, 418-648-4572; Steve Thorp, 734-971-9135; Brock Dickinson, 905-688-5601

Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Mayors Tackle Regional Problems, Opportunities

"Tradition of Excellence" to continue with 2003 conference

Thanks to the International Association of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Mayors, coastal communities have an increasingly influential role in advancing environmental and economic prosperity in this binational region. This mayors’ coalition was formed 16 years ago and, through annual conferences and year-round advocacy efforts, has been an effective advocate in areas ranging from tourism promotion and economic development to pollution control and ecosystem restoration.

The region’s mayors will build on this success when they convene at St. Catharines, Ontario next June 16-18 for their 2003 conference. Mayors Tim Rigby of St. Catharines and Richard Daley of Chicago will co-host. In extending an invitation to their U.S. and Canadian colleagues, they stated "The International Association of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Mayors has proven to be a consistently valuable venue of co-operation among cities with an interest in maximizing their relationships with the economy, ecology and culture of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence." This "tradition of excellence," they add, will continue in St. Catharines, where they will "synthesize" their approach to management of this great resource.

The International Association has, in recent years, attracted a growing number of large city mayors. Adding to the momentum is Mayor Daley’s recent effort to meet with Lake Michigan area mayors and promote the upcoming conference.

Great Lakes and St. Lawrence mayors are now on the "cutting edge" of regional policy deliberations. The International Association has called for a stronger mayoral voice in ecosystem restoration efforts, and has adopted principles to guide water use and protection. The latter took the form of the "Salaberry-De-Valleyfield Protocol," named for the Québec community hosting the 2002 conference. The Protocol speaks to greater mayoral involvement in such issues as aquatic nuisance species prevention and control, Great Lakes levels and flows, coastal development and commercial navigation.

Led by a mayoral Board of Directors, the International Association is staffed by the St. Lawrence Economic Development Council of Québec City, Québec and the binational Great Lakes Commission based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The entire Great Lakes-St. Lawrence community is cordially invited to the June 16-18, 2003 conference. Details are forthcoming and inquires can be directed to Claude Mailloux, St. Lawrence Economic Development Council at 418-648-4572 (cmailloux@portquebec.ca), Steve Thorp, Great Lakes Commission at 734-971-9135 (sthorp@glc.org) or Brock Dickinson, City of St. Catharines at 905-688-5601, Ext. 1700 (bdickinson@city.stcatharines.on.ca).

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