2007 Annual Meeting to focus on climate change, water conservation
"Sustainable Living on the Lakes" will be the theme of the 2007 Annual Meeting of the Great Lakes Commission, Oct. 1-2 in Chicago, Ill. The meeting will feature expert panels on climate change and its impacts on the Great Lakes, water conservation, and renewable energy and economic development. There will also be a series of field trips to Chicago's Center for Green Technology and the electric aquatic nuisance species dispersal barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. In addition, the meeting will feature updates on Great Lakes-related legislation making its way through Congress, the implementation of the Great Lakes Water Resources Compact and other high-priority Great Lakes issues. For more information, see www.glc.org/meeting. Contact: Tim Eder, email@example.com.
Delegation conveys regional views on ballast water legislation
A delegation from the Great Lakes Commission went to Washington, D.C., at the end of July to discuss ballast water legislation with members of Congress. While urging Congress to enact ballast water legislation to protect the Great Lakes and other waters against biological pollution, which is the Commission's top federal priority this year, the delegation also expressed concerns about certain provisions in pending legislation. Among these were a timeline that would allow until 2015 or later for ships to install ballast water treatment technologies, which the Commission regards as too long, and a provision that would preclude states from enacting complementary measures to protect their waters against ballast-borne invaders. The delegation also expressed reservations about a provision that would preempt the authority of the Clean Water Act to address biological pollution from ballast water. A new bill has subsequently been introduced in the Senate that addresses several of these concerns, particularly the timeline for implementation, and key members of the House have been receptive as well. The Great Lakes Commission delegation was comprised of Immediate Past Chair Tom Huntley of Minnesota; Ohio Delegation Chair Sean Logan; Pennsylvania Delegation Chair Cathy Curran Myers; Executive Director Tim Eder; and Matt Doss, manager of the Commission's Environmental Quality Program. Contact: Tim Eder, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illinois ratifies Great Lakes Compact
Illinois has become the second Great Lakes state to ratify the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact, an interstate agreement to protect and conserve the waters of the Great Lakes basin. Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed the legislation into law on Friday, Aug. 17, thereby joining Minnesota in approving the Compact. Other legislation is pending in Indiana, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania. A companion agreement, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement, has been enacted by Ontario and approved by the Québec National Assembly. For more information, visit the Council of Great Lakes Governors web site at www.cglg.org or the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Regional Body web site at www.glslregionalbody.org.
Low lake levels focus attention on St. Clair River
A recent engineer's analysis published by the Georgian Bay Association has focused renewed attention on the possibility that an enlarged St. Clair River channel is contributing to lower water levels on lakes Huron and Michigan. With the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also projecting that Lake Superior will reach its lowest level in recorded history in September, the issue has received considerable media attention. Hydrologist and Great Lakes Commission Program Manager Roger Gauthier recently discussed the situation with Detroit Free Press reporter Eric Sharp and interviewer Paul Smith on Detroit radio station WJR. To hear the 10-minute interview, visit www.wjr.net/Article.asp?id=457783&spid=6521
Marketing dredged sediment for beneficial use
A new initiative by the Great Lakes Commission will help to find commercial applications for dredged sediments, thereby helping to free up space in confined disposal facilities (CDFs) and reduce the need for new CDFs. Due to the limited space available in active CDFs and the high cost and numerous obstacles involved in constructing new ones, sediment disposal issues can be a significant impediment to the dredging operations needed to maintain navigation channels and harbors in the Great Lakes. The project will provide information that will enable dredged sediment to be matched to appropriate uses and marketed as a viable material for projects where some type of soil or fill is needed, including construction projects environmental restoration, topsoil creation and enhancement, landfill capping and aggregate for concrete, among others. In addition to freeing up space in active CDFs and facilitating maintenance dredging, the project is also expected to relieve demands for virgin sand or other materials that contractors would normally obtain. For more information, see www.glc.org/dredging/benuse/rsm. Contact: Victoria Pebbles, email@example.com.
Advocacy updates online
A new "Current Advocacy" page has been added to the Great Lakes Commission web site to enable Commissioners, Observers, stakeholders and other partners to stay abreast of the Commission's federal advocacy work on behalf of the Great Lakes states. The web page, at www.glc.org/advocacy, will provide links to pending legislation before the U.S. House and Senate; letters to Congress expressing the Commission's views on pending or needed legislation; Commission resolutions; summaries and analysis of pending legislation; Commission announcements; and more. Contact: Tim Eder, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured project - Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species
The Great Lakes Commission provides staffing for the Great Lakes Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS), established in 1991 to prevent and control invasive species in the Great Lakes. Established by Congress through the Nonindigenous Aquatic Nuisance Prevention and Control Act of 1990, the Panel is tasked with identifying Great Lakes priorities, advising the national Task Force on ANS, coordinating invasive species program activities in the region, and advising public and private interests on control efforts. Members are drawn from the United States and Canada, with representatives of federal, state, provincial and regional agencies, user groups, local communities, tribal authorities, commercial interests, and the university/research community. For more information, see www.glc.org/ans/panel.html. Contact; Kathe Glassner-Shwayder, email@example.com.
Great Lakes Commission
Eisenhower Corporate Park
2805 S. Industrial Hwy, Suite 100
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-6791
A News Briefs archive can be found at www.glc.org/email/archive