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GLIN==> update calls on great lakes water quality agreement



Dear Great Lakes citizen,

You are invited to attend repeating conference calls held by Great Lakes United to update fellow basin citizens on the ongoing official review of the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

On the calls we will also open the floor to updates by basin environmental organizations and individual activists on their plans for involvement in the remaining months of the review.

In brief, last year the Canadian and U.S. governments established nine working groups open to anyone, and one working group (dealing with governance) by invitation, to review various aspects of the agreement. The groups were charged with assessing on-the-ground progress against the goals of the agreement. They were also charged with suggesting changes to the agreement based either on unsatisfactory on-the-ground progress or on unforeseen environmental needs. The nine open groups finished their reports in December. The invitation governance group will probably finalize its report at the end of January. Various regional and national environmental officials will be looking at the materials over the next few months. Eventually they will submit the reports, possibly in substantially altered form, to public comment. That is currently scheduled for late spring or early summer of this year. Sometime thereafter the U.S. State Department and Canada's Ministry of Foreign Affairs will decide whether to open negotiations between the two countries to revise the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

We are holding three calls to give more substance to the above summary, but all the calls will have the same agenda. We wanted to hold the same call at different times of day -- morning, afternoon, and evening -- to accommodate all those potentially interested. Dates and times for the calls are:

Evening of Tuesday, February 6, 7:30 p.m. EST (6:30 CST)

Morning of Wednesday, February 7, 10:00 a.m. EST (9:00 CST)

Afternoon of Thursday, February 8, 2:00 p.m. EST (1:00 CST)

The agenda is intended to last an hour and fifteen minutes, but if you are interested in being on the call, please schedule an hour and a half in case people have much to say about their plans for next steps in the review.

If you are interested in being on one of the calls, reply to me and I will put you on the list to receive call-in information as the dates draw near.

The tentative call agenda is:

--Summary of the official Canada-U.S. review process (10 minutes)
--Very brief summaries of the draft reports that have come out of the official review's nine regular "Review Working Groups" (20 minutes)
--Brief summary of the draft report of the "Governance and Institutions" Review Working Group. We are dealing with this group separately because the process for creating it was substantially different than for the other working groups (5 minutes)
--Summary of "Promises to Keep," a report on changes needed to the agreement by four basin environmental groups (5 minutes)
--Summary of recommendations for changing the agreement by the International Joint Commission, the official Canada-U.S. watchdog of the agreement( 5 minutes)
--Outline of the official review process going forward (5 minutes)
--Discussion of what call participants are planning or hoping to do this year with respect to the agreement (15 minutes)
--Outline of what Great Lakes United is planning to do (10 minutes)

The total scheduled call time is 1 hour, 15 minutes, but it may go a bit longer if people have a lot to say about their plans.

Please forward this message to anyone you think may be interested.

Hope to hear you on the calls.

Reg Gilbert




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Reg Gilbert
Senior Coordinator
Great Lakes United

(716) 362-3152

Home office address:
790 Auburn Ave.
Buffalo, New York, 14222

Headquarters office address:
Buffalo State College, Cassety Hall
1300 Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, New York, 14222

www.glu.org

An international coalition promoting and
coordinating basinwide initiatives to protect
and restore the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence
River ecosystem

Celebrating 25 years of Great Lakes Protection
Join us in Toronto June 15-17
for our 25th Annual General Meeting.
For information visit http://www.glu.org/25years

Great Lakes United was founded in 1982.

Great Lakes United staff are represented by
United Autoworkers Local 55 Amalgamated

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