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GLIN==> News Release - Lake Superior Priorities



                                MN SEA GRANT
                                NEWS RELEASE

DATE: 7/21/04
CONTACT: Marie Zhuikov, mzhuikov@umn.edu or (218) 726-7677

          Citizens Identify Priorities for Lake Superior Restoration

The priority of people attending a recent Lake Superior restoration
workshop is public funding to restore and protect coastal habitats
crucial to fish and wildlife diversity. With almost equal keenness, the
100 workshop attendees want sustainable practices adopted in the Great
Lakes that protect natural resources while enhancing recreational and
commercial values. 

Minnesota and Wisconsin citizens developed this consensus at the Lake
Superior Restoration and Protection Priorities workshop held in Duluth
on June 30. The workshop was conducted by the Minnesota and Wisconsin
Sea Grant programs in cooperation with the Great Lakes Commission and
the Council of Great Lakes Governors. It was one of several held
throughout the region supported by the National Sea Grant College
Program with the goal of enhancing opportunities to obtain significant
long-term funding to protect and restore Great Lakes ecosystems.

"We had an impressive afternoon of public input," said Carl Richards,
director of the University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program. "The level
of commitment and the wide array of people who came to discuss Lake
Superior restoration boosts the possibility that Lake Superior and the
Great Lakes will receive the federal attention they truly need."

Workshop proceedings will be prepared in the coming weeks that  convey
the thoughts and interests of workshop participants regarding nine
priorities for restoration identified by the Council of Great Lakes
Governors. The priorities discussed include issues such as pollution,
invasive species, public health concerns, water quantity management,
and protection of critical habitats. Results of a previous workshop
sponsored by the Minnesota Environmental Partnership will also be
included and submitted to the Great Lakes Commission and the Council of
Great Lakes Governors.

Workshop attendees also thought it important to ensure that the federal
government reauthorizes over $35 million to restore habitats and
coastal wetlands crucial to fish and wildlife diversity. Federal
legislators are currently considering two bills that would appropriate
between $4 billion and $6 billion for restoration work within the Great
Lakes over the next five to ten years.

"There are about a half-dozen definitions for 'restoration,'" said
Anders Andren, Director of Wisconsin Sea Grant, "but from Webster to
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, they all mean
about the same thing." 

Andren described restoration as the intent to reestablish the structure
and function of ecological systems. He suggested that, in the Great
Lakes, it means reestablishing natural processes and developing
standards with which to measure the system.

For more information on the Great Lakes restoration workshops and to
review the proceedings as they become available, access the Great Lakes
Commission's Web site at: www.glc.org/restwkshp/index.html.

Direct inquiries and comments regarding Lake Superior's restoration
workshop and proceedings to Minnesota Sea Grant by calling (218)
726-8106 or through e-mail at seagr@d.umn.edu.

                                 --30--



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