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E-M:/ Great Lakes Restoration Can Drive Economic Prosperity for Region, Group Tells Lawmakers

Enviro-Mich message from "Jordan Lubetkin" <lubetkin@nwf.org>

Great Lakes Restoration Can Drive Economic Prosperity for Region, Group
Tells Lawmakers 

Washington, D.C. (Nov. 2, 2007)—Eighty billion dollars in short- and
long-term economic benefit derived from the restoration of the Great
Lakes should inspire Congress to pass comprehensive legislation to stop
sewage contamination, stem the tide of invasive species and restore
wetlands, said stakeholders from industry, cities and environmental
groups at a Congressional briefing today.   

The briefing highlighted findings of a recently released cost-benefit
analysis, conducted by the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy

“The study makes a clear case for how Great Lakes restoration can drive
economic prosperity for the region,” said report co-author John C.
Austin, non-resident Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program at The
Brookings Institution. “A tremendous opportunity exists for Congress to
act to restore the lakes, re-invigorate the region’s economy, and boost
the competitiveness of the nation by passing the Great Lakes
Collaboration Implementation Act now, because the longer we wait, the
problems get worse and more costly.” 

The briefing in the nation’s capitol comes as a comprehensive strategy
to restore the lakes awaits action in Congress, and as Great Lakes
states such as Michigan and Ohio grapple with how to re-define
themselves in the midst of a changing economy. 

“This study underscores how Congressional action to restore the Great
Lakes has the power to spur economic growth and attract new businesses
and industry investment to the region,” said George Kuper, president and
chief executive officer of the Council of Great Lakes Industries. “A
federal investment in the Great Lakes yields a solid return. This is a
wise investment well worth making now.” 

The report offers a cost-benefit analysis based on the comprehensive
restoration of the Great Lakes, as called for by a broad stakeholder
strategy, the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy, that has been
introduced as federal legislation, the Great Lakes Collaboration
Implementation Act. The strategy calls for stopping sewage
contamination, preventing invasive species introductions, cleaning up
polluted harbors and restoring wetlands and wildlife habitat. 

“The Great Lakes Collaboration Implementation Act contains manageable
solutions to these problems and it is time to use them,” said David
Ullrich, executive director of the Great Lakes St.-Lawrence Cities
Initiative. “Restoring the Great Lakes will be a shot in the arm for our
cities and will benefit millions of people who live, work and play in
the Great Lakes region and call this their home.” 

The cost-benefit analysis was conducted by researchers affiliated with
the Brookings Institution for a coalition of business, industrial and
environmental organizations, including the Healing Our Waters-Great
Lakes Coalition, the Council of Great Lakes Industries, and the Great
Lakes-St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. 

The report summarizes the major findings of a more in-depth study of the
benefits and costs of the GLRC Strategy by the same authors, “America’s
North Coast: A Benefit-Cost Analysis of a Program to Protect and Restore
the Great Lakes.” 

The briefing on the Hill comes as Presidential candidates travel through
the politically important Great Lakes region to muster votes needed to
win their party’s nomination and compete for the White House. 

“Presidential candidates from both parties have a tremendous opportunity
to embrace a bold plan to restore the Great Lakes and revitalize our
regional economy,” said Andy Buchsbaum, co-chair of the Healing Our
Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “The blueprint has already been written,
it is now up for our leaders to follow it.” 

For more information, visit: 






November 2, 200Jordan Lubetkin, National Wildlife Federation, 734-887-7109,

The Brookings Institution is a private nonprofit organization devoted to
independent research and innovative policy solutions. For more than 90
years, Brookings has analyzed current and emerging issues and produced
new ideas that matter—for the nation and the world. 

Council of Great Lakes Industries is a non-profit organization
representing the common interests of U.S. and Canadian industrial
organizations from the manufacturing, utilities, transportation,
communications, financial services and trade sectors that have
investments in the Great Lakes Basin. The Council works to ensure that
industry is a substantive partner in the Great Lakes region's public
policy development process. 

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative is a binational
coalition of mayors and other local officials that works actively with
federal, state, and provincial governments to advance the protection and
restoration of the Great Lakes. 

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, co-led by the National
Wildlife Federation and the National Parks Conservation Association,
consists of more than 90 zoos, aquariums, museums, and hunting, fishing,
and environmental organizations representing millions of people, whose
common goal is to restore and protect the Great Lakes.

*** Please note my new phone number below--(734) 887-7109 . ***

Jordan Lubetkin
Regional Communications Manager
National Wildlife Federation
Great Lakes Natural Resource Center
213 W. Liberty St., Suite 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1398

Phone: (734) 887-7109 
Cell: (734) 904-1589

Inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.

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