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GLIN==> A Great Lakes Action Agenda/ Great Lakes United's AGM invitation

What: Development of a Great Lakes Action Agenda

Where: Great Lakes Unitedís Annual General Meeting
When: June 7-9, 2002
Where: Loyola University, Chicago, IL

March 12, 2002

Dear Great Lakes activist,

We invite you to become part of a process that we hope will positively impact the Great Lakes Basin for decades.

At its last annual membership meeting, Great Lakes United (GLU) assumed the role of coordinating the coalitionís diverse constituencies as they initiated and then advocated a ďGreat Lakes Action Agenda.Ē We did this for three reasons:
1.      The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River ecosystem is the largest fresh water ecosystem in the world-- yet Canada and the United States have not put in place the resources or policies to protect it.

2.      Cooperating federal and state entities have earmarked billions of dollars for the restoration of other large ecosystems in North America.  This has spurred Great Lakes federal, state/provincial and tribal political and agency leaders to start thinking about comprehensive restoration plans for the Great Lakes.  Basin citizen groups must prepare sound, broadly supported plans to encourage our political and agency leaders to accomplish the task and to guide them as they do so.

3.      As a bi-national, regional coalition of environmental and conservation interests, Great Lakes United can activate a wide network to evolve and advocate such a plan.

An earlier survey identified initiatives in process around the Great Lakes region that (1) reflect basin-wide environmental and conservation issues, (2) could be significantly furthered by federal, state, provincial and tribal financial and political investment, and (3) have already benefited from significant agenda-setting by Great Lakes organizations.  These initiatives fell into the following general areas: habitat, biodiversity, water conservation, energy, toxic cleanup and cleaner production.

Great Lakes United now plans to coordinate development of and achieve consensus on action agendas for the ripest initiatives in each of the areas between now and the end of the year.  We trust that you and your group will want to be a part of this process, and that you will help us assure that these consensus documents will benefit your policies, positions, and programs.  To do so, contact one or more of the lead groups listed on the attached sheet and get involved on the ground floor of drafting the Action Agenda! 

Also, please mark your calendars for June 7-9, and make sure your group is well represented at GLUís 20
th annual general meeting at Chicagoís Loyola University, Lake Shore Campus.  The meeting will focus on final review of those parts of the Action Agenda that have already reached the final stages of development, on refining other portions, and on discussions of collective implementation strategies. 

We will also have some great speakers there, including:
       Chicago Mayor Richard Daley (invited), addressing Chicagoís commitments to green energy;
       International Joint Commissionís Canadian Chair Herb Gray (invited), the keynote dinner speaker;
       Sandra Steingraber, biologist, author and cancer survivor, addressing human and wildlife impacts of Great Lakes toxics; and
       Former chief of the US Forest Service, Mike Dombeck, currently pioneer professor of global environmental management at the University of Wisconsin.
We look forward to working with you on this important endeavor.  Please do not hesitate to give one of us a call if you have any questions!


Edward L. Michael  (847-831-4159)
Board President
Co-Chair/AGM Committee
223 Barberry Rd.
Highland Park, IL 60035

Lynda Lukasik (905-560-1177)
Board Vice President
148 Oakland Drive
Hamilton, ON  L8E 1B6

What is it?

The Great Lakes Action Agenda will begin to spell out the environmental, labor and conservation communitiesí collective goals, timelines and strategies for the improvements needed for a sustainable Great Lakes ecosystem for generations to come. It will be a collective, consensus-based statement of policy and funding recommendations based on initiatives already well developed in the Basin.

How can it be used?

By the end of the year we will have assembled an initial document of policy and funding recommendations based on initiatives already well developed by the basinís environmental and conservation community. This will be of use as a framework to all groups working on these issues locally and as a platform for delegations seeking state, provincial, tribal and federal support for Great Lakes initiatives. The document will also identify gaps in research, planning and consensus-building. We trust this will help basin groups in future collaborative fund-raising.
How to get involved

Help with drafting the components of the Great Lakes Action Agenda right now! Please call or email one of the listed leaders or temporary contact people:

Toxic Cleanup Leaders: Environment Hamilton (Lynda Lukasik, 905-560-1177, lynda.lukasik@sympatico.ca); Sierra Club Great Lakes Program (Emily Green, 608-257-4994 emily.green@sierraclub.org)

Sustainable Waters Leaders: Canadian Environmental Law Association (Sarah Miller, 416-960-2284, millers@olap.org); National Wildlife Federation Great Lakes Office (Andy Buchsbaum, 734-769-3351, buchsbaum@nwf.org)

Clean Production Leaders: Ecology Center, (Charles Griffith, 734-663-2400, charlesg@ecocenter.org); Toronto Environmental Alliance (Rich Whate, 416-596-0660, rich@torontoenvironment.org)

Green Energy Leader: Sierra Club Canada (John Bennett, 613-241-4611 aajb@magma.ca) Temporary US contact: Great Lakes United (Bailey Mylleville, 716-886-0142, bailey@glu.org)

Habitat / Biodiversity Temporary contact for sections without leaders: Jennifer Nalbone, 716-886-0142, jen@glu.org. Sections are:

 Aquatic habitat: Leader: Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council (Jill Ryan, 231-347-1181 x106, jill@watershedcouncil.org)
Urban habitat / special places: Leader: Lake Michigan Federation (Joel Brammeier, 312-939-0838, jbrammeier@lakemichigan.org)
Interconnected habitat: Leader: Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (Jean Langlois, 613-232-7297, jlanglois@cpaws.org)
Limiting sprawl: Leader: Federation of Ontario Naturalists (Linda Pim, 416-444-8419 x243, lindap@ontarionature.org)
Hydrologic functioning
Forest habitat

Exotic species: Great Lakes United (Jennifer Nalbone, 716-886-0142, jen@glu.org)
Native fish: Trout Unlimited (Laura Hewitt, 608-250-3534, lhewitt@tu.org)
Rare species

Background document
Leader: Michigan Environmental Council (Dave Dempsey, 517-487-9541, davemec@voyager.net). The background document will provide context for the agendas, telling the story ofhuman health effects, water quality degradation, and species and habitat loss in the basin, both documented and suspected. The document will also discuss the future trendline of these problems as a basis for government acting immediately and comprehensively. If you have any unique information on basinwide trends, please contact Dave Dempsey.

Timeline 2002-2003

March 2002
Identify leaders, reviewers and primary contacts for each initiative.

March-May 2002
Circulate draft Action Agenda components for feedback, incorporate comments and recirculate

June 2002
GLU annual meeting: Finalize well-advanced Action Agenda components, advance other components, strategize on implementing steps

November 2002
Preparation for Action Agenda implementation strategies

February 2003
All components of the Action Agenda finalized

GL Action Agenda letter 3.15.doc

Jennifer Nalbone
Habitat and Biodiversity Coordinator
Great Lakes United
1300 Elmwood Avenue
Cassety Hall- Buffalo State College
Buffalo, NY 14222

ph: (716) 886-0142  fax:-0303