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GLIN==> Great Lakes Commission News Briefs: Feb. 22, 2007

Title: Great Lakes Commission News Briefs

A monthly summary of issues, activities and events
at the Great Lakes Commission
February 22, 2007

  • The annual Great Lakes Day in Washington policy forum, co-sponsored by the Great Lakes Commission and the Northeast-Midwest Institute, will be held March 6-7 in Washington, D.C. the Commission will present its recommendations for congressional action in 2007 for the Great Lakes, along with a unified statement of near-term regional priorities, consistent with those of the Great Lakes governors and the recommendations of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration from an alliance of Great Lakes organizations that includes the Great Lakes Commission. There will also be a congressional hearing on invasive species and a breakfast reception featuring remarks by members of Congress, state representatives, mayors and tribes. The afternoon will be devoted to congressional office visits by groups of Commission representatives and partners to discuss Great Lakes priorities. Contact: Jon MacDonagh-Dumler, jonmacd@glc.org

  • The 2006 Great Lakes Commission Annual Report is now available . This 20-page publication includes an overview of Commission projects and key regional initiatives; and messages from Michigan Lt. Gov. John Cherry Jr., chair of the Great Lakes Commission, and Tim Eder, executive director. Contact: Kirk Haverkamp, kirkh@glc.org

  • More states introduce ballast legislation
    Frustrated with a lack of federal action to regulate ballast water from oceangoing ships, Great Lakes states are debating whether to establish their own measures to protect the lakes against aquatic invasive species. On Jan. 1, Michigan put its own ballast water regulations into effect, the first Great Lakes state to do so. Similar legislation has been introduced this year in the state legislatures of Minnesota, New York and Wisconsin; ballast water rules modeled on the Michigan legislation were previously introduced in Indiana in 2005 and Illinois and Wisconsin in 2006 but not enacted.

  • Sen. Voinovich elected co-chair of Great Lakes Task Force
    The Senate Great Lakes Task Force has a new co-chair, Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), joining Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) as head of the caucus. A former Ohio governor and a U.S. senator since 1999, Voinovich has been a Great Lakes advocate throughout his career in public life. He serves on the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, among others. He fills the co-chair vacancy left by the departure of former Ohio Sen. Mike DeWine. On the House side, caucus members voted to retain all four co-chairs, re-electing Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich), Vernon Ehlers (R-Mich), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), and Louise Slaughter (R-N.Y.). Contact: Joy Mulinex, joy_mulinex@levin.senate.gov, Senate Great Lakes Task Force, 202-224-1211.

More events

Inland Sensitivity Atlas for Oil Spill Preparedness and Response
The Great Lakes Commission and U.S. EPA Region 5 have been collaborating since 1992 on the Inland Sensitivity Atlas (ISA) project. The atlas fulfills requirements of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which mandates the collection of data to assist in planning for and responding to oil spills affecting surface waters. The ISA gives oil spill responders and planners an easily navigable and detailed overview of the area surrounding a potential spill, including potential spill sources and vulnerable or "sensitive" features such as wetlands, water intakes, wildlife habitats and others. The Great Lakes portion of the atlas was completed in the winter of 2005; current work focuses on maintaining and updating the atlas on a state-by-state basis. Contact: Stuart Eddy, seddy@glc.org.

Great Lakes Commission
Eisenhower Corporate Park
2805 S. Industrial Hwy, Suite 100
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-6791
A News Briefs archive can be found at www.glc.org/email/archive