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GLIN==> Water quantity, oil/gas drilling among featured issues at Great Lakes Commission Semiannual Meeting



For immediate release

Contact: Mike Donahue
E-mail: mdonahue@glc.org
Phone: 734-665-9135
Fax: 734-665-4370

Water quantity, oil / gas drilling among featured issues at Great Lakes 
Commission Semiannual Meeting

*May 15-16 in Ann Arbor, Mich., followed by Aquatic Nuisance Species 
Symposium*

Ann Arbor, Mich. - Policymakers and opinion leaders throughout the 
binational Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region will convene May 15-16 in Ann 
Arbor, Mich., to address and act on key public policy issues affecting 
the environment and economy of the world's largest system of fresh 
surface water.

The Great Lakes Commission's Semiannual Meeting will include special 
sessions focusing on regional initiatives of overriding interest. 
"Safeguarding our Water Resources" will address issues of water 
withdrawal, diversion and lake level management, and feature updates on 
several regional initiatives. "Oil and Gas Drilling in the Great Lakes" 
will offer multiple perspectives on directional drilling and related 
matters. Breakout sessions will allow all meeting attendees to 
participate as Commission priorities, resolutions, advocacy strategies 
and policy initiatives are presented and discussed. And, the 
Commission's legislative and appropriations priorities for the 107th 
Congress, as embodied in its Great Lakes Program for Environmental and 
Economic Prosperity will be presented at the Semiannual Meeting. Social 
events include a reception, dinner and tours of the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration's Great Lakes Environmental Research 
Laboratory and the U.S. Geological Survey's Great Lakes Science Center.

The overall meeting theme, "Ensuring Environmental and Economic 
Prosperity for the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Region," addresses a vision 
articulated by Commission Chair Nat Robinson (Wisconsin) and Vice Chair 
Sam Speck (Ohio), both of whom were elected to their leadership 
positions in October 2000. "Realizing this vision," explains Robinson, 
"rests on three critical elements: a bold strategy, regionwide 
partnerships, and relentless and aggressive advocacy."

The Semiannual Meeting is hosted by the Commission's Michigan Delegation 
, whose members include Tracy Mehan (delegation chair), director of the 
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's Office of the Great 
Lakes; Rep. William Callahan; Frank D'Itri, professor at Michigan State 
University's Institute of Water Research; Attorney General, Jennifer 
Granholm; and Sen. Walter North.

State and provincial Commission delegates will be joined at the event by 
many other government officials and private sector and citizen interests 
with a leadership role in Great Lakes policy development. The meeting 
offers an excellent opportunity for all interested parties to discuss 
and formulate policies in the areas of resource management and 
environmental quality; transportation and sustainable development; and 
communications and information management.

A symposium immediately following the Commission meeting titled, 
"Looking Back, Looking Forward: Assessing Aquatic Nuisance Species 
Prevention and Control" (May 16-17) will examine progress under the U.S. 
National Invasive Species Act and assess the current state of, and 
prospects for, prevention and control programs. A special focus will be 
placed on research and policy development needs for ballast management 
in commercial vessels. The symposium is organized in cooperation with 
the Commission-staffed Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species, 
which coordinates regional prevention and control efforts. The panel 
will hold its spring meeting immediately following the symposium on May 18.

The meetings will take place at the Holiday Inn - North Campus in Ann 
Arbor, and all events are open to the public. The registration fee is 
waived for members of the press, but everyone should pre-register. Use 
the attached forms, or see 
http://www.glc.org/announce/01/3-01semiannual.html for Semiannual 
Meeting details and http://www.glc.org/ans/nisa for the ANS Symposium 
details.

---
The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Nathaniel E. Robinson 
(Wisconsin), is a nonpartisan, binational compact agency created by 
state and U.S. federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, 
healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great Lakes-St. 
Lawrence region and its residents. The Commission consists of state 
legislators, agency officials and governors' appointees from its eight 
member states. Associate membership for Ontario and Québec was 
established through the signing of a "Declaration of Partnership." The 
Commission maintains a formal Observer program involving U.S. and 
Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and 
other regional interests. The Commission offices are located in Ann 
Arbor, Michigan.


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