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GLIN==> 2003 GLC Semiannual Meeting



Come to the 2003 Great Lakes Commission Semiannual Meeting April 15-17 in Indianapolis

Great Lakes, great challenges, great opportunities

Ann Arbor, Mich. – How to “Restore the Greatness” to the largest system of fresh water on the face of the earth? That is the question bringing Great Lakes policymakers and opinion leaders to Indianapolis April 15-17 for the 2003 Semiannual Meeting of the Great Lakes Commission.

A binational body representing the states and provinces of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence region, the Commission will address such topics as ecosystem restoration, sustainable economic development, health of swimming beaches and homeland marine security in the Great Lakes region during the upcoming meeting.

Featured speakers include First Lady of Indiana Judy O’Bannon,  Mayor Scott King of Gary, Ind., and Thomas Dammrich, president of the Chicago-based National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Highlights include:

• the release of a major report on the development of a decision support system for water withdrawal, diversion and consumptive use proposals
• a presentation on homeland marine security concerns – and initiatives – in the wake of 9/11
• a  review of Great Lakes beach closure problems and prospective solutions
• discussion of plans for a large-scale restoration plan initiative, with presentations by representatives from the Florida Everglades and Chesapeake Bay
• a look at the changing landscape of Great Lakes governance from the perspective of mayors, governors, legislators and Congress
• a discussion of the recently passed U.S. Great Lakes Legacy Act and what it might mean for cleaning up toxic hotspots
• a presentation of the Commission’s recommendations for congressional action on Great Lakes issues

Commissioners will also consider multiple resolutions to establish policy, research, analysis and advocacy priorities for the Commission.

Comprised of senior agency officials, legislators and governor/premier appointees, the Great Lakes Commission has a regional leadership role in forging consensus on policy issues, and in advocating those interests at the federal and regional levels.

“The Great Lakes Commission operates at the interface between science, policy, planning and advocacy,” explained Dr. Michael J. Donahue, Commission president/CEO. “We provide a forum for the Great Lakes states and provinces to develop common approaches to managing this great resource they all share – the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence system.”

An example of this role is the Commission’s U.S. federal legislative and appropriations priorities, recently released in the form of the 2003 Great Lakes Program to Ensure Environmnetal and Economic Prosperity.  This document provides a blueprint for advocacy work directed at legislation to support seven priority goals: cleaning up toxic hotspots; shutting the door on invasive species; controlling nonpoint source pollution; restoring and conserving wetlands and critical coastal habitat; ensuring the sustainable use of our water resources; strengthening our decision support capability; and enhancing the commercial and recreational value of our waterways.

Held at the Marriott Indianapolis Downtown, the meeting will begin with an opening reception at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 15. The business meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. April 16 and adjourn at noon, April 17. A reception and dinner will be held from 6-9 p.m. April 16 at the Indiana State Museum. All events are open to the public.  Registration fees will be waived for those with valid media credentials. For registration and program information, contact the Great Lakes Commission at 734-971-9135 or visit www.glc.org/meeting

Contact:  Mike Donahue
Phone:  734-971-9135
Fax:  734-971-9150
E-mail:  mdonahue@glc.org

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The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Samuel W. Speck (Ohio), 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 LakesSt. 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.