Gov. Taft, Congressman LaTourette are featured speakers
Ann Arbor, Mich. — Ohio Gov. Bob Taft will be the keynote speaker when policymakers and opinion leaders from throughout the binational Great Lakes region convene in Cleveland Oct. 15 for the 2002 Annual Meeting of the Great Lakes Commission.
Taft, who chairs the Council of Great Lakes Governors, will address the meeting theme of Building Partnerships for Restoration.He’ll speak to the challenges facing the Great Lakes and the governors’ efforts toward a region-wide, consensus-based effort to address those challenges.
“Our shared mission to restore and protect the Great Lakes has never been more critical,” Taft said. “It’s going to take a unified vision, and the work of many parties, to identify and address our problems and take full advantage of opportunities to fulfill this mission.”
Taft’s address, which will open the meeting, will precede a special session that afternoon examining the various aspects of developing a Great Lakes Restoration Plan and updating its progress. Featured speakers at the meeting also include Ohio Congressman Steve LaTourette, who will give the luncheon address.
Other meeting highlights include the release of the Commission’s interim findings and recommendations for the development of a Water Resources Management Decision Support System that can assist in evaluating water withdrawal proposals. The development of such a system is called for in the Great Lakes Charter Annex of 2001, signed by the Great Lakes governors and premiers.
The meeting will also examine the status and adequacy of U.S. and Canadian federal Great Lakes programs, including reports by the U.S. General Accounting Office and the Auditor General of Canada.
Commissioners will also consider the following issues:
- The adoption of policy positions addressing reauthorization of the National Invasive Species Act (NISA);
- The new threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem posed by the Asian Carp;
- Beach closings and related water quality issues;
- Restoration planning in the binational Lake St. Clair/St. Clair River watershed; and
- The development of a decision support system for water resources management.
The Commission, a binational organization of the states and provinces, is dedicated to promoting sound public policy on regional environmental protection, resource management, transportation and sustainable development issues.
The meeting will be preceded by local tours and a reception on Oct. 14. All meeting events are open to the public. Registration fees will be waived for those with media credentials.
For immediate release: October 8, 2002
Contact: Mike Donahue, email@example.com, office: 734-971-9150
The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Nathaniel E. Robinson (Wisconsin), is a nonpartisan, binational 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.