Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Mayors to convene June 16-18 in St. Catharines

St. Catharines, Ontario — Mayors, policy makers and opinion leaders from coastal communities throughout the binational Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River region will converge on St. Catharines, Ontario June 16-18 for the 17th International Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Mayors Conference. Co-hosting the conference are the City of St. Catharines, under Mayor Tim Rigby, and the office of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. The event is open to the public.

Delegates representing all eight Great Lakes states and the two Canadian provinces bordering the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence system will participate in an agenda including such topics as water levels, environmental restoration, homeland security, maritime commerce, tourism and waterfront development.

This year’s conference will also feature a presentation by Dr. David Suzuki, award-winning scientist, environmentalist and host of “The Nature of Things” television series, who will speak on “The Challenge of the 21st Century.”

As the world’s largest freshwater system, the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence system is gaining recognition as not only a one-of-a-kind natural resource, but also an economic force of global proportion. The system defines the recreational, commercial and cultural identities of hundreds of communities in the U.S. and Canada, and fuels the multibillion dollar regional economy of the North American midcontinent.

The International Association of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Mayors was formed 17 years ago to address areas of common interest to coastal municipalities on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, and to act as an effective advocate for policy development at the state and national levels. Over the years the coalition has tackled many challenging issues such as beach closings, fish advisories, invasive species, waterfront land use, stormwater management and water and air quality.

Led by a mayoral Board of Directors, the Association is staffed by the St. Lawrence Economic Development Council of Québec City, Québec and the binational Great Lakes Commission based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The conference program and registration form are available online at projects.glc.org/mayors. For more information and to register for the conference (registrations will be accepted right up to the conference start) contact Jan Bechard, City of St. Catharines, by phone at 905-688-5601, ext.1508, or by email at jbechard@stcatharines.ca.

For immediate release: June 12, 2003
Contact: Jan Bechard, jbechard@stcatharines.ca, office: 905-688-5601 ext. 1508

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The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Samuel W. Speck (Ohio), 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 programinvolving U.S. and Canadian federal agencies, tribal authorities, binational agencies and other regional interests. The Commission offices are located in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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