Great Lakes Commission to mark 50th Anniversary

Lt. Gov. Cherry, marathon swimmer Dreyer among speakers at 2005 Annual Meeting

The Great Lakes Commission will celebrate 50 years of building a better future for the Great Lakes at its 2005 Annual Meeting, Sept. 27-29, 2005, in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Along with celebrating the past, the 2005 Annual Meeting will look at the current and future issues facing the world’s greatest freshwater resource, with reports and discussions focusing on the President’s Great Lakes Regional Collaboration, the pending Great Lakes water management agreement, Detroit riverfront revitalization, the status of Great Lakes legislation and the future of Great Lakes maritime transportation, among others.

“For the past 50 years, the Great Lakes Commission has played a unique role in regional resource management and policy,” said Michigan Lt. Gov. John Cherry, vice chair of the Commission and host of the 2005 Annual Meeting. “As a representative of the Great Lake states in formal partnership with the provinces of Ontario and Québec, the Commission has been essential in helping to forge a common vision and direction on matters of critical importance for the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence system.”

Featured speakers at the meeting, to be held at the Michigan League on the University of Michigan campus, include Lt. Gov. Cherry; Karen Kraft Sloan, Canadian foreign affairs ambassador for the environment; endurance athlete Jim Dreyer, who recently became the first person to swim across all five Great Lakes; and Gary Volgenau, author of “Islands: Great Lakes Stories,” a snapshot of just a few of the 35,000 islands in the Great Lakes.

Former Commission Chair Irene Brooks, currently a U.S. member of the International Joint Commission, will offer a historical retrospective on the Great Lakes Commission’s first 50 years.

The meeting will include a joint reception on Wednesday, Sept. 28 with the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, which is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Created by the Great Lakes states in 1955, the Great Lakes Commission is the world’s only organization of its kind – founded in state and federal law to promote a coordinated approach to Great Lakes issues, with Ontario and Québec as associate members. Over the past 50 years, it has played significant roles on such wide-ranging initiatives as construction of a new Soo Lock; water diversion; environmental restoration, information-sharing via the Great Lakes Information Network (GLIN) and invasive species prevention and control, to name a few.

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For immediate release: September 23, 2005
Contact: Tom Crane,, office: 734-971-9135

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