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GLIN==> 2003 Great Lakes Program now available!

2003 Great Lakes Program now online at www.glc.org/restore

Great Lakes Commission issues call to “Restore the Greatness!”

Saying that it’s time to give the Great Lakes their due, Great Lakes Commission Chair Sam Speck today released the Commission’s 2003 Great Lakes Program to Ensure Environmental and Economic Prosperity to members of Congress and regional leaders gathered in Washington, D.C.

The Great Lakes Program, which lays out the Commission’s recommendations for specific legislation and appropriations to address Great Lakes issues over the coming year, was presented at the annual “Great Lakes Day in Washington” activities, which include a Congressional Breakfast and Issues Briefing. The Breakfast was co-sponsored by the Commission and the Northeast-Midwest Institute.

“The Great Lakes of North America are the lifeblood of a great region and the key to the environmental and economic prosperity for tens of millions of residents,” said Speck. “Simply put, they are a national and international treasure and they deserve to be treated as such!”

The Great Lakes Program is built around seven key priorities the Commission views as essential to restoring, protecting and enhancing the natural resources of the Great Lakes basin. They are:

• 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
• Enhancing the commercial and recreational value of our waterways

The Great Lakes Program forms the basis for the Commission’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the Great Lakes region and its member states. Each priority is linked to recommendations for specific legislation and appropriations the Commission is asking Congress to address this year, as well as a summary of benefits associated with it. The Great Lakes Program also provides the basis for building regional partnerships for restoration and protection activities.

First released in 2001 and updated annually, the Great Lakes Program has met with considerable success, and numerous elements have seen favorable action by the Congress. The Commission also views the Great Lakes Program as an important step toward the development of a large-scale, long-term Great Lakes Restoration Plan. Such a consensus-based plan can yield a detailed blueprint of unprecedented scope to guide state/federal/stakeholder partnerships for years into the future.

Founded in U.S. federal and state law, the Great Lakes Commission serves as a regional advocate, promoting the informed use, protection and development of the water and related resources of the Great Lakes basin in the interest of advancing environmental and economic prosperity. Its members include the eight Great Lakes states, with associate member status for Ontario and Québec. The Commission’s annual preparation of federal legislative and appropriations priorities is a longstanding activity and provides the basis for its advocacy and regional coordination efforts.

Commission Chair Speck, elected last October, also serves as director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Vice Chair Tom Huntley is a member of the Minnesota state legislature.

The Great Lakes Program is available online at www.glc.org/restore. Print copies are available by contacting the Great Lakes Commission at 734-971-9135.
Contact: Mike Donahue, president/CEO
Phone: 734-971-9135
Fax: 734-971-9150
E-mail: mdonahue@glc.org