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GLIN==> Coalition to Testify at U.S. Senate Hearing, Will Urge Congress to Pass Great Lakes Protections

Coalition to Testify at U.S. Senate Hearing, Will Urge Congress to Pass Great Lakes Protections
U.S. House Committee Expected to Approve Compact Today
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 30, 2008)—At a Senate Judiciary Committee today, the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition will urge the U.S. Congress to act quickly to pass a water management agreement to protect the Great Lakes from depletion.
The call for action comes on the same day that the U.S. House Judiciary Committee prepares to mark up the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Compact, a regional water management agreement to protect the Great Lakes from depletion and promote water conservation within the region.
“[The Great Lakes] are one of America’s most revered national jewels, and one of the natural wonders of the world. As such, just as we are privileged to enjoy them, we have a responsibility to protect them,” Cameron Davis, co-chairman of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition and president and CEO of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, said in prepared comments. “Without this Compact, the Great Lakes are vulnerable to depletion. We urge you to ratify the Compact now to protect these magnificent natural treasures.”
Davis is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee at 1 p.m. EDT. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) will chair the hearing on S.J. Res. 45, “A Resolution Consenting To and Approving the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.”
Other speakers include: U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), U.S. Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio); Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, chairman of the Council of Great Lakes Governors; Grand Rapids, Mich. Mayor George Heartwell, vice chairman of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative; and Kay L. Nelson, director of environmental affairs for Northwest Indiana Forum.
Track the proceedings and see a live webcast of the hearing at: http://judiciary.senate.gov/
The House Judiciary Committee mark up on the Compact starts at 10:15 a.m. EDT. Track the proceedings at: http://judiciary.house.gov/
The eight Great Lakes states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have enacted the Compact. Congressional consent is required for it to become law, as has been the case with other water compacts around the nation.
The Great Lakes contain more than 90 percent of the fresh surface water of the United States.  Although seemingly abundant, less than 1 percent of the Great Lakes water is renewed each year, leaving the lakes vulnerable to depletion.
The compact’s introduction to Congress comes a decade after that body called on the Great Lakes states and Canada to develop standards for water use and conservation, a call that was met by years of diligent efforts by states, municipalities, businesses and public interest groups.
“While the call for such standards was important, even more important was the fact that leaders from all around the nation saw fit to call for the protection of the Great Lakes ecosystem as a national and international treasure,” according to Davis. “Now we’re asking Congress to finish the job and approve the compact.”
The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition consists of more than 100 zoos, aquariums, museums, and hunting, fishing, and environmental organizations representing millions of people, whose common goal is to restore and protect the Great Lakes.
For more information, including complete testimony, visit: http://www.healthylakes.org/
For Immediate Release:
July 30, 2008
Cameron Davis, Alliance for the Great Lakes, (312) 375-2004, cdavis@greatlakes.org
Jordan Lubetkin, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, (734) 887-7109, lubetkin@nwf.org
Jordan Lubetkin
Senior Regional Communications Manager
National Wildlife Federation - Great Lakes Office
213 West Liberty, Suite 200 | Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Phone: 734-887-7109 | Fax: 734-887-7199 | Cell: 734-904-1589
NWF's mission is to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future. www.nwf.org/news/
Working to restore the Great Lakes by offering solutions to sewage contamination, invasive species and other threats. www.healthylakes.org