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E-M:/ EPA Administrator Affirms White House Commitment for Great Lakes



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Enviro-Mich message from "Jordan Lubetkin" <Lubetkin@nwf.org>
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Update: Statement by Jeff Skelding, national campaign director of the
Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition on EPA Administrator Lisa
Jackson’s remarks this morning at the Great Lakes Commission meeting.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 24, 2009)—“The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes
Coalition is pleased that the highest levels of the Obama Administration
have re-affirmed the president’s commitment to the Great Lakes, and we
look forward to working with the White House and Congress to fulfill
President Obama’s commitment to a $5 billion fund to restore the lakes
and revive the economy.”

Look for video of Administrator Jackson’s remarks after 1 PM online at
www.healthylakes.org.

Contact: Jeff Skelding, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, (410)
245-8021, JSkelding@nwf.org
Jordan Lubetkin, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, (734)
904-1589, lubetkin@nw.org

Coalition Convenes in D.C. to Urge Action on Great Lakes Restoration,
Economic Recovery

Leader of EPA, White House Council on Environmental Quality to Discuss
Obama Administration Commitment to Great Lakes 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 24, 2009)—As President Obama prepares to
release his budget priorities for 2009 and commitment to Great Lakes
programs, more than 120 lake advocates are gathering in Washington,
D.C., to ask Congress and the Obama Administration to act to restore the
lakes and revitalize the economy.  

“Restoring the Great Lakes is vital to our nation’s economic recovery,
which is why we’re asking Congress and the Obama Administration to
invest in successful programs to protect our communities and businesses
from the threats of sewage contamination, invasive species and toxic
pollution,” said Jeff Skelding, national campaign director of the
Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “Unless America invests in the
lakes these problems will get worse and the price we all pay will be
higher.”

Nancy Sutley, leader of the White House Council on Environmental
Quality, will present the luncheon keynote address at the coalition
gathering, following a morning address by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson
at the Great Lakes Commission meeting. Both speakers are expected to
discuss the commitment of the Obama Administration to the lakes.

During the campaign, President Obama pledged $5 billion to restore the
lakes and revitalize the economy. The creation of such a fund is a top
priority for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

“As a senator and as a White House candidate, President Obama stood up
for the Great Lakes,” said Skelding. “We look forward to working with
the Obama Administration and Congress to fulfill the president’s
commitment to create a $5 billion Great Lakes restoration and economic
recovery fund.”

The coalition will urge Congress to increase funding for successful
programs, including:

• $54 million for the Great Lakes Legacy Act to clean up toxic sediments
that threaten the public’s health and prevent economic development in
our region’s cities;
• $16 million for grants through Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife
Restoration program to address habitat priorities in the Great Lakes
basin; and
• $1.35 billion nationally ($490 million to Great Lake states), for the
Clean Water State Revolving Fund, to fix old sewers to prevent sewage
contamination.

The plan for Great Lakes restoration and economic recovery is a
multi-year strategy to modernize sewage treatment, clean-up polluted
harbors, restore wetlands, and prevent unwanted, new species from
invading the lakes. 

“Each of these steps is essential if we are to restore the lakes and
revive our economy,” said Skelding. “We want Congress and President
Obama to fulfill the president’s commitment of a $5 billion restoration
and economic recovery fund now—and commit to funding the other vital
steps to restoration in the months and years ahead.”

The Brookings Institution estimates that the people and communities of
the Great Lakes region stand to gain $5investing $26 billion now to restore the lakes. That is a net gain of
$24 billion from increases in tourism, the fishing industry,
recreational activity and home values. In addition, the states would see
at least $30 billion in short-term economic activity.

Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition advocates from the eight Great
Lakes state of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio,
Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are in the nation’s capitol as part of Great
Lakes Day in collaboration with the Great Lakes Commission,
Northeast-Midwest Institute and other partners.

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition consists of more than 110
environmental, conservation, outdoor recreation organizations, zoos,
aquariums and museums representing millions of people, whose common goal
is to restore and protect the Great Lakes.

For more information, visit: http://www.healthylakes.org/




*** 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
www.nwf.org
www.healthylakes.org

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

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

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