For immediate release
July 23, 2008
Contact: Tim Eder
Statement by Great Lakes Commission Chairman Lt. Gov. John Cherry on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Compact
"Great Lakes Members of Congress have taken a monumental first step to assure long term protection and wise management of the Great Lakes. We applaud the leadership of U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and George Voinovich and Reps. James Oberstar, Vern Ehlers, John Conyers and Steve LaTourette who have introduced resolutions in their respective chambers that would provide congressional consent to the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. I commend all those who are joining as co-sponsors of the resolution for their commitment to protecting our Great Lakes and pledge the full support of the Great Lakes Commission in their efforts to win congressional consent. We urge the members of the congressional delegations from all eight Great Lakes states to work with their colleagues to gain rapid congressional approval of the Compact resolutions. Congressional consent represents both sound public policy and responsible environmental stewardship for the largest and most important body of fresh water on Earth.
The states and provinces have spoken with one, unified voice in support of this critical agreement; it is a voice Congress must not fail to heed. The recent completion of the ratification process for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact by the eight Great Lakes states represents a significant step forward for the protection of this precious freshwater resource. The Compact assures that future decisions regarding usage of Great Lakes-St. Lawrence waters will be guided by policies designed to protect and conserve the resource. It is up to Congress to take the next step and grant its consent to the Compact.
We applaud the eight Great Lakes states - and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Québec – for this forward-looking action, one for which future generations will thank us. And we hope that the spirit of regional unity catalyzed by ratification of this Compact will remain intact as we address those additional Great Lakes protection and restoration issues still ahead."
The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Lt. Gov. John Cherry (Mich.), is a nonpartisan, binational compact agency established under 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 governors' appointees, state legislators, and agency officials 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.