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Citizens Identify Priorities for Lake Superior Restoration

100 people gathered to participate in the Great Lakes Restoration Workshop.

100 people gathered to participate in the Great Lakes Restoration Workshop. Photo: Gene Clark, Wisconsin Sea Grant

Editor's note: If the people attending the Lake Superior Restoration and Protection Workshop we held in June could have collectively written a letter, it might look like this:

June 30, 2004

Dear Great Lakes Governors,

Not the types to pass on a good opportunity to talk about Lake Superior, 100 of us got together for half a June day to pour over the words and meaning of the priorities you sketched out. Your priority list for Great Lakes restoration and protection outlines a targeted approach to a mammoth 6-quadrillion-gallon responsibility. We appreciate that you crafted it to make a united appeal for money on Capitol Hill. Thank you for including the Great Lakes and our thoughts as you approach the Congressional coffers.

About the Great Lakes Restoration Workshops

The Council of Great Lakes Governors requested public input on the development and implementation of priorities for Great Lakes ecosystem restoration. Lake Superior Restoration and Protection Priorities (June 30, in Duluth, MN) was part of a series of workshops held throughout Great Lakes states in response to this request. People from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan participated in the Duluth workshop, conducted through the cooperation of the Minnesota and Wisconsin Sea Grant Programs, the Minnesota and Wisconsin Offices of Governors, state agencies, the Council of Great Lakes Governors, and the Great Lakes Commission. The National Sea Grant College Program and the Great Lakes Commission provided funding.

Information on the Great Lakes restoration workshops and the resulting proceedings are posted on the Great Lakes Commission's Web site at: www.glc.org/restwkshp/. Inquiries regarding Lake Superior's restoration workshop should be directed to Minnesota Sea Grant: (218) 726-8106; seagr@d.umn.edu.

From our Superior vantage point, we think two of your priorities are particularly important. First, restoring and protecting habitats and coastal wetlands to enhance fish and wildlife seems essential. We hope that the whole watershed will be considered in these efforts. Second, creating opportunities for coastal communities to adopt sustainable use practices that protect environmental resources will help combat pollution. We are pleased you are emphasizing the need for good community planning, including waste control, to enhance the recreational and commercial value of the lakes.

Lake Superior isn't plagued by botulism like Lake Erie, where non-point source pollution was deemed the premiere priority; our water is freer of PCBs and zebra mussels than Lake Michigan's. Lake Superior's purity and uniqueness make protecting it essential.

Remember that we think habitat preservation and community planning are especially vital to Lake Superior's well being. And don't forget education and outreach. Such activities need to be stated explicitly in your priorities.

We are glad to assist your efforts to deliver an accurate and verifiable message from the people of the Great Lakes to Congress. Thank you for your continued work on behalf of the Great Lakes and all who treasure them. We'll send you the formal proceedings soon.

Always happy to give advice,

Citizens attending the Lake Superior Restoration and Protection Priorities workshop

By Sharon Moen
September 2004

Return to September 2004 Seiche

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