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Re: Desigation of Lake Champlain as a Great Lake

Should Lake Champlain be the sixth Great Lake?

*Adopted March 11, 1998, by the Executive Committee of the Great Lakes
Commission. Adopted without opposition, New York abstaining.

The Great Lakes Commission, an eight state compact agency founded in
state and federal law, recognizes Lake Champlain as an important large
lake resource with environmental and economic significance. The
Commission supports and applauds growing interest in its protection
and management. As with other large freshwater systems in North America
and globally, research on the five Great Lakes can benefit - and benefit
from - research on Lake Champlain.

The Commission recognizes, however, that Lake Champlain is outside the
Great Lakes Basin, and from a hydrologic and broader scientific
standpoint, has not and should not be considered a Great Lake.
Designation as such compromises our decades-old effort to study and
manage the five Great Lakes as inter-related components of a single
basin. Furthermore, it sets a scientifically untenable precedent that
may open the door to designation of other large freshwater lakes that
are also outside the Great Lakes Basin and apart from the five
interconnected Great Lakes that share a single drainage basin.

The Great Lakes Commission believes that efforts to secure additional
federal funds for Lake Champlain research should be evaluated on their
own merits rather than through legislated redefinition of the lake as a
"Great Lake." The Great Lakes Commission opposes the designation of Lake
Champlain as a "Great Lake" for purposes of the National Sea Grant

Comments or questions about the Commission's policy position on Lake
Champlain should be addressed to Dr. Michael J. Donahue, Executive
Director, at mdonahue@glc.org.

The Great Lakes Commission is a nonpartisan, interstate compact agency
created by state and federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong
economy, clean environment and high quality of life for residents of the
eight-state Great Lakes region (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota,
New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin). The Commission consists of
state legislators, agency officials and governorsí appointees from its
member states, and also maintains a formal Observer program involving
U.S. and Canadian federal and provincial agencies, tribal authorities,
binational agencies and other regional interests. The Commission offices
are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.