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GLIN==> Great Lake Governors Set Framework for Great Lakes Restoration Efforts

Posted on behalf of Sara Jackson <sjackson@nwf.org>

Great Lakes Governors Set Framework for Great Lakes Restoration Efforts

Media Advisory

For immediate release

The eight Great Lakes governors today sent a letter to the U.S. Congress
laying out their agreed-upon framework for restoring the Great Lakes.

"It's an excellent framework, emphasizing the most significant problems in
the Great Lakes and realistic ways of addressing them," said Andy Buchsbaum,
Director of the Great Lakes office of the National Wildlife Federation. "And
it's critical for winning Congressional funding for healing the Great Lakes.
Without it, Congress would be pretty reluctant to send money to our region."

The letter expresses support for two multi-billion dollar bills pending in
the House and Senate that would authorize billions of dollars to be spent on
restoring the Great Lakes ecosystem. The letter emphasizes the need to clean
up toxic sediments, stop invasive species, use water sustainably, restore
coastal wetlands, and stop polluted runoff, among several priorities.

Great Lakes restoration bills were introduced in the House and Senate last
summer and are awaiting a hearing. The House bill would authorize $4 billion
over 5 years for broadly-defined restoration activities; the Senate bill, $6
billion over 10 years.

"That the Governors could reach a consensus on these restoration principles
is pretty remarkable," Buchsbaum said. "They have different needs and
priorities, depending on geography and history, but they were able to work
those out. This unified regional position will be an important political
driver in Congress."

The governors' letter describes a two-phased approach. Under the first
phase, the governors will submit  "short-term agenda" to help guide spending
decisions while a comprehensive plan is developed. In the second phase, a
comprehensive plan to restore and protect the Great Lakes will be developed
by a broad group of government agencies and stakeholder. It will contain a
blueprint for action and the federal resources needed to implement it.

"The governors' approach strikes the right balance between planning and
action," Buchsbaum said. "We need a comprehensive plan to make sure that
dollars are spent on the most critical needs of the Great Lakes. But we
can't wait for the plan; there are critical actions that need to be taken

For more information, contact: Andy Buchsbaum  (734) 769-3351

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