Maintaining funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and keeping pressure on federal officials to halt the spread of Asian carp will be the focus of Great Lakes Days.
The 2012 event is scheduled for Feb. 28-29 in Washington, D.C. It’s not too late to register for this important event. Register here.
This year’s conference comes at a pivotal moment in Great Lakes history: Federal budget cuts could endanger funding in 2013 for the GLRI; and the Great Lakes Commission will release a report in late January that presents options for separating Lake Michigan from the Chicago Waterway System and the Mississippi River basin.
The Great Lakes Commission’s report could be a game-changer in efforts to keep Asian carp in the Mississippi River basin and the Chicago Waterway System from invading Lake Michigan and spreading to the other Great Lakes.
In terms of Great Lakes restoration, efforts to clean up toxic hot spots, reduce polluted runoff and restore wetlands have made significant progress over the past two years. But the region needs leadership and energy more than ever to ensure that funding for the GLRI remains intact in 2013 and beyond.
The GLRI funding is already reaping huge benefits for the region by cleaning up the lakes, enhancing job creation, and stimulating the economy in Great Lakes communities. Go here to read some of the success stories.
Attendees at Great Lakes Days will be briefed on critical issues facing the lakes, attend training sessions to become a more effective advocate, and urge members of Congress to support the GLRI.
If you can’t attend the conference, you can participate vicariously through others who will be there.
Several members of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition will be blogging and tweeting about Great Lakes Days. Check back here on Feb. 28-29 for comprehensive coverage of this important event.