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E-M:/ granholm-cherry propose clean water corps, state Riverkeepers

Enviro-Mich message from "Dave Dempsey" <davedem@hotmail.com>

Friday, October 25, 2002

	ANN ARBOR – Democratic Lieutenant Governor nominee State Senator John 
Cherry (D-Clio) today said that the Granholm-Cherry administration would 
make keeping Michigan water clean and safe a top priority.

	Senator Cherry appeared at a Riverkeeper event today with Robert F. Kennedy 
Jr. Kennedy is in Michigan to announce the creation of a new Detroit 
Riverkeeper Program that will formulate and implement plans to clean up and 
protect all the waterways that feed into the Detroit River and nearby Lake 

	“Our environmental plan focuses on developing a comprehensive water use 
strategy and protecting Michigan’s watersheds,” Cherry said. “We support the 
Detroit Riverkeeper program, and look forward to working with the 
organization in implementing initiatives to protect and restore our rivers.”

	The Granholm-Cherry plan includes:

·	Creating a Michigan Clean Water Corps. The Granholm-Cherry administration 
will work with volunteers to establish a comprehensive statewide clean 
water-monitoring network.

·	Protecting and restoring Michigan’s rivers with a new Riverkeepers program 
supporting local watershed initiatives.

·	Cleaning up the toxins left by past industrial activities. The Great Lakes 
contain 42 toxic hot spots or “Areas of Concern” – 14 of those are in 
Michigan waters. The Environmental Protection Agency has designated these 
areas for clean up of toxic industrial waste, but the current administration 
has not made any progress to date on securing federal funding.

·	Protecting rivers and streams with new initiative under Michigan’s 
nationally recognized Natural Rivers Act. Not a single new river has been 
designated under the Engler-Posthumus administration.

The Detroit Riverkeeper program has been licensed as the 89th member of the 
International Waterkeeper Alliance, of which Kennedy is the co-founder and 
president. A Waterkeeper program is an environmental “neighborhood watch” 
program protecting communities and the waters they depend on. There are 94 
programs licensed nationally to date.

     “The work of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and the Waterkeeper Alliance is 
known around the world for leading the fight for cleaner water,” Cherry 
said. “We welcome their interest in the Detroit River and Lake Erie, and we 
feel their efforts and our environmental priorities are a perfect match.”

     The new Detroit program joins three existing licensed Michigan 
Waterkeeper programs launched at the grassroots level in the state – the St. 
Clair Channelkeeper, the Tip of the Mitt Waterkeeper, and the Greater 
Traverse Baykeeper program. Efforts to establish future waterkeeper programs 
are underway in a number of the state’s 46 watersheds, most notably for the 
Kalamazoo, Muskegon, and Grand rivers.

    “We applaud the Michigan watershed protection groups that have created 
these innovative and effective programs,” Cherry said. “Our campaign 
believes that a statewide program is critical to ensure that all watersheds 
are fully protected. We look forward to the opportunity to work with the 
national Waterkeeper Alliance and Michigan community and environmental 
leaders to shape our new statewide program.”

     “We must encourage more public participation in protecting the 
environment,” Cherry added. “The Engler-Posthumus administration has removed 
public input in the environmental policymaking process. One of our top 
priorities is to restore citizen participation and commissions in the state 
departments charged with environmental protection.”


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