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State of the Great Lakes 1998 Annual Report

Governor John Engler has announced the release of the "State of the Great Lakes 1998 Annual Report."  It is the sixth such report by his administration.

The report discusses many aspects of Great Lakes water, as well as lake levels, diversions, exotic species, and progress in cleaning up contaminated sediments.  Moreover, the report describes the successful settlement of the Twelve Towns case impacting Lake St. Clair and efforts to construct a new lock at Sault Ste. Marie, a priority for Governor Engler's third term.

The 1998 report highlights progress in protecting the Great Lakes on several fronts:

1)  Passage by the voters of the "Clean Michigan Initiative," a $675 million environmental bond issue.

2)  Sixteen on-going or completed projects to remediate contaminated, toxic sediments, including the $28.2 million settlement on the Saginaw Bay and River.  Over 1.7 million cubic yards of contaminated material will be removed from the Michigan waters of the Great Lakes system through the year 2000.

3)  Implementation of the sea lamprey control program on the St. Marys River, with the support of Governor Engler's $3 million committment on behalf of Michigan.  The St. Marys River produces more sea lamprey than all of the Great Lakes tributaries combined, and more fish are destroyed by sea lampreys than all other causes of mortality including natural causes, sport, tribal and commercial harvest.

4)  The Binational Toxics Strategy to reduce or virtually eliminate over 35 persistent toxic substances found in the Great Lakes.  This is a voluntary, cooperative initiative involving industry, government and environmentalists in the U.S. and Canada.

5)  The Lake Michigan Potential Damage Study (LMPDS) to assess shoreline impacts due to erosion over the next 50 years.  The LMPDS is a prototype for the rest of the Great Lakes.  Its prime objective is to create computer models for estimating economic, social, environmental, and cultural impacts under various hydrological scenarios.

Copies of the 1998 annual report are available free of charge from the Office of the Great Lakes at 517-335-4056, or accessed electronically at:  http://www.deq.state.mi.us/ogl