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GLIN==> 13-City Great Lakes Restoration Boat Tour Kicks Off today



13-City Boat Tour Kicks Off Today, Highlighting Need to Restore Great
Lakes

Coalition Calls for Presidential Candidates to Stand up for Great Lakes
Restoration

BUFFALO, N.Y. (June 6, 2008)—The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes
Coalition is launching a 13-city boat tour today in Buffalo, N.Y., to
highlight the need to restore the Great Lakes and to urge the U.S.
Congress and presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama to act
to restore the lakes.

“The boat tour underscores the importance of the Great Lakes to millions
of people and the urgent need to restore them,” said Jeff Skelding,
national campaign director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes
Coalition, the boat tour’s sponsor. “To those seeking the presidency, we
ask: ‘Will you use your leadership as president to fund the restoration
of the largest freshwater resource in North America?”

The boat tour launch comes days after Sen. Obama secured the Democratic
presidential nomination, setting the stage for a contest between Sen.
McCain. Both White House aspirants have signed a U.S. Congressional
pledge to restore the Great Lakes.

The coalition will be circulating a petition at each event – and
available on its Web site www.healthylakes.org – urging both candidates
to follow through on this pledge by committing $20 billion over five
years to restore the Great Lakes as outlined in the Great Lakes Regional
Collaboration Strategy—a comprehensive clean-up plan endorsed by
citizens, industry, mayors, governors and the region’s congressional
delegation.

“Our message to each candidate seeking the White House is clear: Put
your money where your mouth is,” said Skelding. “We have solutions. It
is time to use them now, because every day we wait, the problems get
worse and the solutions more costly.”

The Earth Voyager—one of the fastest sailboats on the Great Lakes—will
stop in cities along the lakes. The 60-feet-long and nearly
100-foot-tall boat will dock in ports, anchoring a series of community
events.

Coalition members will be joined at each city by local elected offialls,
business leaders, conservation groups and citizens to urge federal
leaders to stop sewage contamination, halt invasive species and confront
other serious threats.

The tour will also feature restoration success stories and highlight the
economic benefit of restoring the lakes. The Brookings Institutition
found that Great Lakes restoration would generate between $80 billion
and $100 billion in short- and long-term economic gains to the region. 
	
The tour concludes in Rochester, N.Y., on September 6. A schedule
follows:

June 4 - 7 Buffalo, N.Y.  
June 11 - 14 Erie, Pa.  
June 18 - 21 Toledo, Ohio  
June 23 - 28 Detroit, Mich.
June 30 - July 11 Port Huron, Mich. 
July 1 Sarnia, Ontario 
July 12 - 14 Bayview Port Huron to Mackinac Race 
July 17 - 18 Chicago, Ill. 
July 19 - 21 100th Chicago to Mackinac Race 
July 24 - 27 Traverse City, Mich.  
August 6 - 9 Grand Haven, Mich.
August 13 - 16 Milwaukee, Wisc.
August 20 - 23 Bay City, Mich.
August 27 - 30 Cleveland, Ohio 
September 3 - 6 Rochester, N.Y. 

For more information, visit: http://www.healthylakes.org/

CONTACT:
Jeff Skelding, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, 202-797-6893,
jskelding@nwf.org
Jordan Lubetkin, National Wildlife Federation, 734-904-1589,
lubetkin@nwf.org
Nora Ferrell, Valerie Denney Communications, 312-408-2580 x 24,
773-510-4819 (cell) nora@vdcom.com
Hugh McMullen, Valerie Denney Communications, 312-408-2580 x 15,
hugh@vdcom.com



*** Please note my new phone number below--(734) 887-7109 . ***

Jordan Lubetkin
Regional Communications Manager
National Wildlife Federation
Great Lakes Natural Resource Center
213 W. Liberty St., Suite 200
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1398
www.nwf.org
www.healthylakes.org

Phone: (734) 887-7109 
Cell: (734) 904-1589

Inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future.
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