Great Lakes Protected for Future Generations

     Good news for the Great Lakes and all who love them!  The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact, a plan to ensure sustainable use of the lakes, is about to be put in place.  Both houses of Congress have ratified the Compact, which had already been approved by the governors and legislatures of all eight Great Lakes states.  President Bush has promised he will sign the legislation that makes the Compact official.

     The Compact addresses the growing demand for water and the increasing pressure to divert water from the lakes.  The Compact bans new diversions of water from the lakes and fosters sustainable economic development that is responsible in its use of Great Lakes waters.  

     The Compact is an important breakthrough because existing law had provided no assurance of the long-term supply of water from the Great Lakes, which contain 90% of North America’s fresh surface water.  Millions of Americans depend on the Great Lakes for drinking water and recreation.  

     “The Great Lakes Compact will help preserve one of the nation’s most cherished natural resources for future generations,” says Christy Leavitt of Environment America, a federation of state environmental groups.

     A broad, bi-partisan consensus has been built in support of the Compact.  Mayors and other local officials, an overwhelming majority in Congress, stakeholders, and environmental advocates have all supported the Compact.

     The eight state signatories to the Compact include:  New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Minnesota.

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