An unprecedented effort to restore the Great Lakes will be highlighted in Cleveland this September when hundreds of advocates, scientists, public officials and conservation leaders gather for Great Lakes Week 2012.
The theme of this year‚Äôs event, to be held Sept. 10-13 in downtown Cleveland, is ‚ÄúTaking Action, Delivering Results.‚ÄĚ It will focus public attention on efforts to rid the Great Lakes of toxic hotspots, reduce polluted runoff, restore fish and wildlife habitat, and prevent Asian carp and other invasive species from entering the lakes.
Great Lakes Week advances the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades. The special week also gathers the annual meetings and conferences of various U.S. and Canadian organizations in one place, making it one of the most wide-ranging Great Lakes summits. Leaders will explore issues of importance to citizens on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border.
Great Lakes Week 2012 will feature the following events:
‚ÄĘSept. 10: International Joint Commission Meeting.
‚ÄĘSept. 10-11: Great Lakes Commission Annual Meeting.
‚ÄĘSept. 10: Great Lakes Week Town Hall.
‚ÄĘSept. 11-13: Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition‚Äôs 8th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference.
‚ÄĘSept. 12: A joint session with U.S. and Canadian federal officials and organizations participating in Great Lakes Week.
‚ÄĘSept. 12-13: Great Lakes Areas of Concern Annual Conference.
Quotes from Great Lakes Week partner groups:
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre excited to be coming to Cleveland, a city which has been at the center of some of the nation‚Äôs most urgent environmental challenges‚ÄĒand greatest comeback stories,‚ÄĚ said Jeff Skelding, Director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. ‚ÄúRestoration projects are producing results. And even though a lot of work remains, we are eager to showcase our successes in Cleveland.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWe all have a vision for what we want the Great Lakes to be for the region‚Äôs economic and environmental future,‚ÄĚ said Cameron Davis, EPA‚Äôs Senior Great Lakes Advisor. ‚ÄúGreat Lakes Week is the chance for leaders from both countries to come together to demonstrate what they‚Äôve done and will continue to do to keep pushing for that vision to become a reality.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúGreat Lakes Week will help build upon the enormous energy that now exists to restore the Great Lakes and keep invasive species like Asian carp and others from colonizing the lakes,” said Tim Eder, executive director of the Great Lakes Commission.
‚ÄúCommunities across the basin witness daily how Great Lakes restoration benefits both the environment and economy,‚ÄĚ said Dave Ullrich, Executive Director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. ‚ÄúCities are the front lines of the restoration effort and are working to ensure our binational commitment to the Lakes continues.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúIn Cleveland, the IJC will be reporting on our priority research work, highlighted by our focus on Lake Erie,‚ÄĚ said Lana Pollack, U.S. Chair of the International Joint Commission. ‚ÄúSupported by a new Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the U.S. and Canada can work together to make real progress on the challenges facing Lake Erie.‚ÄĚ
Dredging Today Staff, May 4, 2012;