Contact: Mike Donahue, firstname.lastname@example.org, 734-971-9135|
Conference programs, other information at: www.glc.org/meeting
Ohio Gov. Bob Taft to keynote
Cleveland events to showcase sustainable use issues, opportunities
Ann Arbor, Mich. – Great Lakes restoration, protection and sustainable
use will be the focal point for two major regional events to be held in
early May in Cleveland, Ohio. The 2004 Semiannual Meeting of the Great
Lakes Commission, with a theme of “Restoring the Greatness of our
Freshwater Seas!” is set for May 3-4 at the Sheraton Cleveland City
Centre Hotel. It will be followed immediately by the Actions Toward a
Sustainable Great Lakes conference, an event organized by some 26
partner agencies and organizations, May 4-6 at the same location.
The Great Lakes Commission meeting will feature a special session
focusing on the just-released report of the U.S. Commission on Ocean
Policy, a major initiative expected to have broad implications for
management of the nation's ocean coasts and freshwater resources. Dr.
Paul Sandifer, a member of that commission, will present report
recommendations, and a distinguished panel of regional leaders will
The Commission meeting will also feature policy discussions and
actions, including consideration of a new Five Year Strategic Plan
and policy resolutions on topics including aquatic nuisance species
control initiatives; sediment reduction needs in the basin; drinking
water security; groundwater research and monitoring to enhance
decisionmaking; and maintenance dredging requirements. Updates on
current policy matters, including Great Lakes Legacy Act implementation
and the U.S. EPA’s proposed “sewage blending” policy, will be addressed
“We are delighted to host this event and extend a warm welcome to our
entire membership and many partners,” said Sam Speck, chair of the
Great Lakes Commission and director of the Ohio Department of Natural
Resources. “It is most fitting that we meet in a great city on a Great
Lake to discuss, and act on, our restoration, protection and
sustainable use needs.”
Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, chair of the Council of Great Lakes Governors, will
keynote the Actions Toward a Sustainable Great Lakes conference, also
being held at the Sheraton Cleveland City Centre Hotel. He will be
joined by dozens of additional speakers – drawn from the region's
elected leadership, policymakers, scientists and opinion leaders –
addressing key policy issues and opportunities of the day.
Session topics include water use and management; habitat and wetlands;
water quality; toxic hotspots; aquatic invasive species; human health;
habitat and wetlands; sustainable waterways for commercial and
recreational activity; and research and decision support. The
conference focus is on participant dialogue, and on identifying next
steps in our collective quest for sustainability.
Participants will also enjoy a great evening at Cleveland's Great Lakes
Science Center, complete with a reception, dinner and opportunity to
tour the Great Lakes exhibits. Primary sponsors, complementing the work
of the more than two dozen conference partners, include the Great Lakes
Commission and the Buffalo District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Participants at these events will include senior officials from all
Great Lakes states and provinces, and leadership from federal agencies,
tribal authorities, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and
business and industry. The events are open to the public and a
discounted registration fee applies to all who register for both.
Programs and registration information are available online at www.glc.org/meeting
or by contacting the Great Lakes Commission at 734-971-9135.
Registration fees will be waived for those with valid media
credentials, subject to advance request.
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