Stakeholders share their views on Great Lakes restoration

Workshop series proceedings available at www.glc.org/restwkshp 

Ann Arbor, Mich. – Results of a series of stakeholder workshops gathering public input on how to restore and protect the Great Lakes are now available from the Great Lakes Commission.

The report, A Blueprint for the Future: Toward a Great Lakes Restoration Strategy, summarizes the opinions and suggestions of more than 700 stakeholders who participated in a series of eight workshops hosted throughout the Great Lakes states. Held from September 2003 to August 2004, the workshops invited participants to react to a series of restoration priorities developed by the Council of Great Lakes Governors and offer their thoughts on putting them into action.

“As a region, we have a renewed drive to put ideas into action. Leadership and public participation are a powerful combination and these workshops could not have come at a more important time,” said Dave Naftzger, executive director of the Council of Great Lakes Governors. “Over the next several months, the region’s governors will continue to partner with other leaders and the public to develop a broad-based strategy to protect and restore the Great Lakes.”

The workshops surveyed stakeholders on the major issues that they believe need to be addressed through a basinwide restoration initiative and how new or current programs might be coordinated to achieve this. The results are being shared with Great Lakes leadership and the entire community of stakeholders in the interest of promoting consensus and unity of purpose in restoration and protection initiatives.

Each workshop was carried out through a partnership between the Great Lakes Commission, the host state’s Sea Grant College Program, the Council of Great Lakes Governors, relevant state agencies and numerous other partners, with funding by the National Sea Grant College Program.

The conclusion of the workshop series is well-timed to provide input directly into the strategic planning exercises taking place under the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration, which is using the Council of Great Lakes Governors’ priorities as a starting point. Workshop participants showed enthusiastic support for the governors’ priorities and provided a wealth of specific ideas on how they might be implemented across the Great Lakes region.

The newly released report includes the proceedings of each workshop and an overview summarizing prominent outcomes from the workshop series. The report is available online at www.glc.org/restwkshp; print copies may be ordered from the Great Lakes Commission for a nominal fee. Additional restoration-related projects of the Great Lakes Commission are available at www.glc.org/restoration/.

For immediate release: April 14, 2005
Contact: John Dettling, detting@glc.org, office: 734-971-9135

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The Great Lakes Commission, chaired by Lt. Gov. John Cherry (Mich.), is an interstate compact agency established under 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 governors’ appointees, state legislators, and agency officials 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 formalObserver 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.

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