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GLIN==> Great Lakes Governors Release Priorities for Protection and Restoration of the Great Lakes


Press Release


Great Lakes Governors release Priorities for

Protection and Restoration of the Great Lakes


October 1, 2003                                                                     Contact: David Naftzger or Peter Johnson



The Council of Great Lakes Governors today released nine priorities for the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes.  The Great Lakes ecosystem is critically important to the quality of life for our citizens and to the economic vitality of region,” said Ohio Governor Bob Taft, Council chairman.  “In endorsing these priorities, the Great Lakes Governors affirm our commitment to protecting and restoring the natural habitat and water quality of the Great Lakes Basin, preserving diverse and thriving plant and animal communities, protecting the water supply, and safeguarding human health.”


The priorities were included in a letter to the sponsors of S. 1398, the Great Lakes Environmental Restoration Act, and H.R. 2720, the Great Lakes Restoration Financing Act.  The Great Lakes Governors praised Congressional sponsors and cosponsors for introducing legislation to address ongoing threats to the Great Lakes by providing substantial federal financial support to complement extensive state and local spending on protection and restoration projects.


"We applaud the strong bi-partisan commitment in Congress to restore and protect the Great Lakes," said Governor Taft.  "The Great Lakes Governors look forward to partnering with Congress to secure the future of this irreplaceable national treasure."


The Council of Great Lakes Governors agreed that these priorities should guide Great Lakes restoration and protection efforts:


·       Ensure the sustainable use of our water resources while confirming that the States retain authority over water use and diversions of Great Lakes waters.


·       Promote programs to protect human health against adverse effects of pollution in the Great Lakes ecosystem.


·       Control pollution from diffuse sources into water, land and air.


·       Continue to reduce the introduction of persistent bioaccumulative toxics into the Great Lakes ecosystem. 


·       Stop the introduction and spread of non-native aquatic invasive species.


·       Enhance fish and wildlife by restoring and protecting coastal wetlands, fish and wildlife habitats. 


·       Restore to environmental health the Areas of Concern identified by the International Joint Commission as needing remediation.


·       Standardize and enhance the methods by which information is collected, recorded and shared within the region. 


·       Adopt sustainable use practices that protect environmental resources and may enhance the recreational and commercial value of our Great Lakes. 

The Great Lakes Governors also committed to working with local governments, Canadian provinces, and other stakeholder organizations on a coordinated approach to safeguarding the Great Lakes, which are the largest source of fresh surface water in the world.