Great Lakes Day in Washington
Washington, D.C. — Members of Congress, legislative staff and Great Lakes leaders will focus on how to “Restore the Greatness!” to the world’s greatest system of freshwater on Wednesday, March 3 at Great Lakes Day in Washington, D.C.
This long-standing annual event provides a forum to examine Great Lakes issues and needs, and set the stage for legislative action. Speakers include U.S. Sens. Mike DeWine (OH) and Debbie Stabenow (MI), along with Rep. Thomas Reynolds (NY), all of whom will share their views on Great Lakes restoration and protection. Sam Speck, chair of the Great Lakes Commission, and Mayor Jane Campbell of Cleveland will offer perspectives from the region.
Other key officials in shaping Great Lakes policy will address such topics as managing water demands, controlling aquatic invasive species, and updating the binational Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Meeting agendas are available at www.glc.org/greatlakesday.
“Nature has blessed us with a truly phenomenal gift in the Great Lakes, but the lakes are hurting,” said Speck, who is also director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. “We need to reinvest in this resource and ‘Restore the Greatness’ for the benefit of our environment, our economy and our quality of life.”
The theme of this year’s event is “Restore the Greatness: Moving Forward!” The day begins with the Great Lakes Congressional Breakfast, co-sponsored by the Great Lakes Commission and the Northeast-Midwest Institute, followed by the Great Lakes Issues Briefing, sponsored by the Commission.
Among the day’s highlights will be the release of the Great Lakes Commission’s 2004 Great Lakes Program to Ensure Environmental and Economic Prosperity, an annual summary of federal legislative and appropriations priorities called for by the Commission’s membership. Among many other priorities, the Commission urges development of a comprehensive Great Lakes restoration program, through federal/state partnership; passage of the National Aquatic Invasive Species Act; and full funding of the Great Lakes Legacy Act in order to clean up toxic hot spots known as Areas of Concern.
The Great Lakes Congressional Breakfast will be held from 8-9:30 a.m. in Room B-339/340 of the Rayburn House Office Building. It will be followed by the Great Lakes Issues Briefing, from 10:15 a.m.-12:30 p.m in Room 902 of the Hart Senate Office Building.
Both events are open to the public. Space is limited and advance registration is required. Registration fees and deadlines will be waived for persons with valid media credentials, subject to advance registration and space availability. To register, see www.glc.org/greatlakesday or contact: Pat Gable, [email protected], 734-971-9135.
Preliminary agendas are available online at www.glc.org/greatlakesday. Copies of the Great Lakes Program will be distributed at the issues briefing and will be available by request or online at www.glc.org/restore as of 1 p.m., March 3.
For immediate release: March 1, 2004
Contact: Mike Donahue, [email protected], office: 734-971-9135
The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Samuel W. Speck (Ohio), is an interstate compact agency created by state and U.S. federal law and dedicated to promoting a strong economy, healthy environment and high quality of life for the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence region and its residents. The Commission consists of state legislators, agency officials, and governors’ appointees from its eight member states. Associate membership for Ontario and Québec was established through the signing of a “Declaration of Partnership.” The Commission maintains a formal Observer program involving U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and other regional interests. The Commission offices are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.