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GLIN==> Great Lakes Governors Challenge Presidential Candidates to Protect and Restore the Lakes



GREAT LAKES GOVERNORS CHALLENGE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES TO PROTECT AND RESTORE THE LAKES

Milwaukee, Wisconsin (November 8, 2007)—Governor Jim Doyle, Chair of the Council of Great Lakes Governors, today called on each Democratic and Republican presidential candidate to support protecting and restoring the Great Lakes.    

In a letter (available at www.cglg.org) sent on behalf of the region’s Governors, Doyle challenged the candidates to forge a new partnership with the Governors to protect and restore our nation’s water belt—the Great Lakes.  Governor Doyle has spearheaded State and regional efforts but it is recognized that accelerated progress can only be made with greater federal support, particularly from the next Administration.

“The next President must share our vision of protecting the Great Lakes,” Governor Doyle said.  “The Great Lakes are not only our greatest natural resource, but they are also a true national treasure.   We need federal leaders who share our vision – strong partners who recognize that the Great Lakes are critical to our nation’s future.  Protecting, preserving, and improving the Great Lakes is not just a Wisconsin issue or a Michigan issue, it must be a national and international priority.”

Specifically, Governor Doyle called on the candidates to endorse the region’s consensus strategy to protect and restore the Great Lakes, and outline their implementation plan.  This strategy, finalized in 2005, was developed by regional leaders and citizens through the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration.  To realize its promise, States and others have moved as aggressively as possible but increased federal commitments are needed.

Governor Doyle also asked the candidates to endorse the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.  The Compact, developed by the Great Lakes Governors and finalized in 2005, would promote sustainable use of the Great Lakes and prevent diversions with limited and strictly regulated exceptions.  Minnesota and Illinois have ratified the Compact this year, and action is anticipated in the other Great Lakes States in coming weeks and months.  Once the Compact has been ratified by each of the Great Lakes States, Congress will be asked to provide its consent, turning this unprecedented set of protections into State and Federal law. 

The Great Lakes are truly of national and international importance—both environmentally and economically.  The health of the national economy depends on the Great Lakes.  Almost thirty percent of the nation’s gross domestic product is produced by Great Lakes States, including approximately sixty percent of all U.S. manufacturing.  Additionally, more than 35 million Americans benefit from the drinking water, food, recreational opportunities, jobs and transportation that the Great Lakes provide.

Additional information on the Great Lakes Governors’ efforts to restore and protect the Great Lakes is available at www.cglg.org  Please contact David Naftzger, Executive Director of the Council of Great Lakes Governors at (312) 407-0177 (Office), (847) 863-1679 (Mobile), or dnaftzger@cglg.org.

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