Coalition Update: News you can use

With winter approaching, it’s time to do a little fall cleaning. Here’s an update of recent activities involving members of the HOW Coalition and new studies that coalition members will find interesting.

ITEM I: If you weren’t able to make it to the 2011 Great Lakes Restoration Conference in Detroit you can check out much of what went down by visiting http://conference.healthylakes.org/.

On the Web site you’ll find blog posts from the conference, presentations and photos. Sadly, you won’t find are reports on the numerous extracurricular activities. Conference participants checked out some of Detroit’s fines restaurants and casinos. A few of the sports fans in our ranks attended the Detroit Tigers playoff against the Texas Rangers; others took in a Detroit Red Wings game.

Who said conferences were dull? Not in the Motor City.

The 2012 conference, in Cleveland, also promises to be a dandy.

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ITEM II: A new study conducted for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Foundation concluded that natural resources programs and outdoor activities generate a whopping $1.06 TRILLION annually in economic activity.

This is a terrific report with compelling data that conservation groups can use to demonstrate the value of natural resources, recreation programs and historic preservation activities.

The study found that outdoor recreation activities, natural resources conservation and historic preservation programs in the United States employ 8.4 million people, generate $100 billion annually in local, state and federal tax revenue.

It also found that outdoor recreation sales (gear and trips combined) of $325 billion per year are greater than annual returns from pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing ($162 billion), legal services ($253 billion), and power generation and supply ($283 billion).

The report is national in scope but it has much information that is relevant to the Great Lakes region. It can be found here:http://bit.ly/vYZW2x.

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ITEM III: The loss of wetlands in the U.S. has slowed in recent years, according to a new Fish and Wildlife Service report.

The report, “Status and Trends of Wetlands in the Contiguous United States 2004-2009,” found that the nation had a net loss of 62,300 acres of wetlands between 2004 and 2009.

There are now just over 110 million acres in the continental United States. The report, along with the press release and science behind the report, can be found at: http://www.fws.gov/wetlands/StatusAndTrends2009/

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