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GLIN==> invitation to annex "compact" list serv

Dear Great Lakes citizen,

This is an invitation to join a list serv established by Great Lakes United to talk about the proposed U.S. state "compact" to prevent large-scale water diversions out of the Great Lakes basin, and abusive water use inside the basin.

The focus of the list will be on the state campaigns for passage of the compact through the individual state legislatures and then the U.S. Congress. The list will also occasionally address the separate "agreement" document between the U.S. states and Canada's Great Lakes provinces, at minimum in the form of a monthly update produced by Great Lakes United on annex progress in all ten Great Lakes U.S. and Canadian jurisdictions. That update will be distributed to Ontario and Quebec activists as well as this list. However, the focus of this list will be on the compact.

The purpose of the list is to strengthen individual state campaigns by sharing the experiences of all the state campaigns. The ideal message posted to the list would not only describe events -- new bill sponsors, gubernatorial statements, committee action, and the like -- but also include general lessons learned whenever that has happened. The lessons of one state might somehow prove useful in another. Messages could also address general matters, such as successful responses to concerns expressed by individual legislators, or successful methods for mobilizing the public.

Please forward this message to anyone you think would be interested in the list serv.

Joining the list

To join the list, connect to http://list.glu.org/cgi-bin/lyris.pl. Choose "compact" from the list of various list servs that Great Lakes United is hosting. Contact Reg Gilbert at reg@glu.org if you have any difficulties, questions, or special requests related to the list.

Members of the list will be able to post messages to the list and receive messages from other list members in addition to receiving messages from Great Lakes United. Unless it proves necessary at some point to review messages before they are posted, the list will not be moderated.

For annex activists within individual states, using this list instead of the "reply all" method of communicating with fellow state activists offers a number of advantages, including automatic subscribe and unsubscribe and recipient control over how messages arrive.

Traffic on the list should be only a few messages a week, except in the days leading up to significant events in individual states. At signup (and anytime thereafter), list members can elect to receive messages either one at a time (in real time when posted by senders) or in the form of a single daily digest.

This will be an open list, available for signup by anyone who wishes. Messages should be written with a fully public audience in mind.

Status of the compact

The compact has been approved in Minnesota, has passed one house in Ohio and Illinois, and has at some point been introduced in the legislatures of Michigan and New York. Wisconsin has established a legislative committee to consider the compact. All the states except Indiana are expected to consider passage of the compact this year. Indiana is expected to address compact passage next year. In Canada, related annex agreement legislation has been introduced in Parliament in Ontario, and a resolution favoring the agreement has passed Quebec's National Assembly, but legislation has yet to be introduced. A more detailed, jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction update will be sent out on the list shortly after list membership has plateaued.

After a tentative first step with the signing of the state-provincial Great Lakes Charter in 1985, the U.S. state compact and the related agreement between the states and provinces are the region's first serious effort at collective protection of our greatest resource -- the water in the Great Lakes basin, the largest freshwater ecosystem on earth, one which contains an astonishing 18 percent of the planet's fresh surface water.

That water is the foundation of the region's economy, quality of life, and identity. The 1985 Charter put in place a handful of measures that established limited, voluntary, collective decision-making to protect Great Lakes water quantities. The compact advances on the charter by addressing water throughout the basin, not just in the lakes, and advances on both the charter and the new agreement among the provinces and states by being mandatory -- enforceable in U.S. court once passed by all eight state legislatures and Congress.

Both the compact and the separate agreement could be called Great Lakes Water Protection 2.0 -- just the second version of the region's collective protection effort after the 1985 charter. Not yet perfect or even fully comprehensive, which is usually the case with second versions, the effort is nonetheless a vast improvement over the previous system. It more durably bans diversions, with limited exceptions, and addresses nearly all new or increased water withdrawals for use inside the basin. As the joint effort of ten constitutionally sovereign jurisdictions in two nations, the advances of the compact and agreement arguably set a worldwide precedent -- but only if they are ultimately put into law. That is where we, list members and our associates, come in.

For more information on the compact or agreement, connect to Great Lakes United's small document library at www.speakongreatlakes.org and to the Web site of the Council of Great Lakes Governors at www.cglg.org.

Hope to see you on the list.

Reg Gilbert


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


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

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