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E-M:/ Michigan Water Not for Sale


Check out the website to sign the petition to protect Michigan's water and the Great Lakes at www.michiganwaternotforsale.com.


CONTACT:  Cyndi Roper, 517.490.1394 

Grenetta Thomassey, 231.838.5193 

James Clift, 517.256.0553

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    

Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008                                                                                                                                                                                                               

'Michigan Water Not For Sale': Web Site to Fight Diversion, Withdrawals

Citizens can contact legislators, urge them to protect Great Lakes, Michigan water

LANSING – Citizens can send a message to their legislators urging them to act now to protect Michigan's Great Lakes, groundwater, aquifers, rivers and other freshwater sources, which face threats of diversion and high rates of withdrawals from bottling companies, corporations and thirsty states and countries.

The "Great Lakes, Great Michigan" coalition launched the Web site, www.michiganwaternotforsale.com, today, which allows citizens concerned about Michigan's freshwater to urge their state legislators to support measures that protect Michigan's freshwater from diversions and dangerously high rates of water withdrawals. The new citizen action-oriented web site complements the GLGM site, www.greatlakesgreatmichigan.org, which provides policy positions, background and other information about plans to protect the Great Lakes.

State Senate legislation would permit 25 percent of some stream stretches to be removed by water takers. "The Michigan's Legislature must not allow large corporations and special interests that profit from the withdrawal of our water to write the laws protecting our Great Lakes, rivers and streams, Cyndi Roper of Clean Water Action said. "Our precious water defines who we are as a state.  It is essential that the public have a voice in protecting Michigan water from withdrawal and diversion."

"Great Lakes, Great Michigan" is a broad based coalition made up of businesses, lake associations, and agricultural, religious, environmental, and citizen watchdog groups such as Clean Water Action, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Michigan Environmental Council, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, Progress Michigan, Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation and others.

 "Michigan's Legislature is debating plans that would impact Michigan's Great Lakes, rivers and streams, groundwater and aquifers. Some legislators have recommended allowing up to 25 percent of some of Michigan's inland rivers and streams to be available for withdrawal with minimal oversight and no permits unless one user was trying to withdrawal more than 2 million gallons a day.  Withdrawal at that level, especially in sensitive areas need greater oversight from the state," said James Clift, Policy Director of the Michigan Environmental Council.

Several proposals affecting the Great Lakes are scheduled for hearing this week in the House and are in the Senate.  Bills that would ratify the proposed Great Lakes Compact are already on the floor of each chamber.

"The Senate must recognize the serious threat Michigan and our Great Lakes face – and they must do something about it," said Dr. Grenetta Thomassey, Policy Director for the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.

Thomassey said: "Michigan citizens have spoken loud and clear regarding decision to remove huge quantities of water.  The small businessman who built a fishing lodge on the AuSable or Betsie River has a vested interest in keeping our rivers and streams healthy and must have a say in proposals that could allow 25% of from their local river to be withdrawn our water must remain in the public trust, not in the hands of special interests."


To contact the legislators, go to: www.michiganwaternotforsale.com.



Leigh Fifelski, Campaign Coordinator
Progress Michigan
831 N Washington Ave
Lansing, MI 48906
office (517) 999-3646
cell (248) 321-4579
fax (517) 999-3652