Change is in the Air

Both presidential candidates are talking about change and so are we. We represent voters in eight states, five of which are swing states, so it does seem to matter what we think.

After three years, eight state legislatures approved the Great Lakes Compact – that’s 13,000 lawmakers in agreement. This leaves little doubt that there is consensus across the region for the compact. Now, we must build upon that landmark agreement to save the Great Lakes before it is too late.

“We must control pollution and protect human health from its adverse effects. We must protect fish and wildlife, restoring critical areas and stopping the introduction of chemicals [and] invasive species,” Gov. Jim Doyle said at the Healing Our Waters Conference. “We must adopt sustainable use practices that will protect the lakes and enhance their commercial and recreational value.”

The swift movement of the Compact from the states to the halls of the US Senate has raised the profile of the Great Lakes before the nation. Right now, momentum is on our side – it is the perfect time to aggressively work for restoration.

“This is real momentum, this is something to build upon,” said Gov. Doyle. “It is a lot easier to go with the flow than against the flow right now we have turned that flow around like the old Chicago River and we have it going in the right direction.”

The Compact does something more for us than conservation, and raising awareness, it lays a foundation for achieving full restoration in the form of short term actions, such as: ballast legislation to combat invasives and legacy act funding to clean up areas of concern – to long term actions such as the Great Lakes Collaboration Implementation Act.

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