Governors Seek Great Lakes' Plan Endorsement

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D), head of the Council of Great Lakes Governors, recently called on each Democratic and Republican presidential candidate to support the protection and restoration of the Great Lakes.

"The next president must share our vision of protecting the Great Lakes," Doyle said. "The Great Lakes are not only our greatest natural resource, but they also are 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."

In a letter sent on behalf of the region's governors, 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 achieve the strategy's full potential, states and others have moved as aggressively as possible but increased federal commitments are needed, the governors stated.

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 the set of protections into state and federal law.

The letter can be accessed at www.cglg.org.

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