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GLIN==> U.S. Senate Approves Great Lakes Protections

Contact: Andy Buchsbaum, (734) 887-7100, buchsbaum@nwf.org
Jordan Lubetkin, (734) 887-7109, lubetkin@nwf.org
U.S. Senate Approves Great Lakes Protections
ANN ARBOR, MICH. (July 31, 2008)—The National Wildlife Federation today applauded the U.S. Senate for approving the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact, an eight-state water management agreement to protect the nation's largest fresh surface water resource from depletion.
The Compact must now pass the U.S. House of Representatives before heading to President Bush’s desk for his signature. The President has said recently that he will sign the agreement.
“We hope today’s action in the U.S. Senate inspires the U.S. House to pass these protections without delay so that we can safeguard a national resource that millions of people, businesses, farmers and communities depend on in their daily lives,” said Andy Buchsbaum, regional executive director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes office. “It’s time to seal the deal and protect our lakes, our drinking water, our economy and our way of life.”
The U.S. Senate passed the Compact by unanimous consent, following the passage of the Compact in all eight Great Lakes states – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The Great Lakes contain over 90 percent of the fresh surface water of the United States.  Although seemingly abundant, less than 1 percent of the Great Lakes water is renewed each year, leaving the lakes vulnerable to depletion.
Work on the Compact began ten years ago, when the Great Lakes governors convened a special binational task force and an advisory committee to respond to the threat of water diversions to Asia. The task force first developed a set of principles called the 2001 Annex to the Great Lakes Charter, and then spent seven years turning those principles into binding laws that have now been enacted by each of the eight Great Lakes states, the two Canadian provinces, and now the U.S. Senate.
NWF, appointed to the Governors’ advisory committee, played a major role in developing the Compact and working with state and national leaders to enact the Compact.
The National Wildlife Federation is America’s conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future.
For more information: http://www.nwf.org/greatlakes
Jordan Lubetkin
Senior Regional Communications Manager
National Wildlife Federation - Great Lakes Office
213 West Liberty, Suite 200 | Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Phone: 734-887-7109 | Fax: 734-887-7199 | Cell: 734-904-1589
NWF's mission is to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future. www.nwf.org/news/
Working to restore the Great Lakes by offering solutions to sewage contamination, invasive species and other threats. www.healthylakes.org