Saving the Great Lakes: Eight States and Two Canadian Provinces in the Great Lakes Watershed Are Working to Protect This Important Resource

By Savage, Melissa | State Legislatures, May 2007 | Go to article overview

Saving the Great Lakes: Eight States and Two Canadian Provinces in the Great Lakes Watershed Are Working to Protect This Important Resource


Savage, Melissa, State Legislatures


We don't call them "great" for nothing. Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ontario make up the largest body of fresh water on the planet and provide drinking water for 42 million Americans and Canadians. There's enough water in the Great Lakes to cover the contiguous states nine feet deep.

Some 162 million tons of dry bulk cargo--iron ore, coal, stone, grain, salt, cement and potash--are shipped through the lakes every year. Some 20 percent of U.S. manufacturing takes place in cities along their shores. The Great Lakes area generates $5 billion a year in shipping business and $4 billion in the sport, commercial and Native American fishing industry.

All that makes the infrastructure, health and environmental protection of the Great Lakes a priority not only for the governors and legislators of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, but also for the president and members of Congress, the leaders of Quebec and Ontario and businesses in the United States and Canada.

The fragile ecology of the lakes has suffered from pollution, invasive species and water diversion projects. Restoration initiatives prompted President George W. Bush to call the Great Lakes a "national treasure," when signing an executive order three years ago that called for a regional collaboration. Governors, legislators, mayors of cities and towns and tribal leaders--l,500 in all--united to identify the most critical needs facing the Great Lakes. Canadian officials participated as observers. The result, the Great Lakes Strategy, outlines recommendations for actions to be taken over the next five years to restore and save the lakes.

MULTISTATE COMPACT

The Council of Great Lakes Governors worked on an additional priority--developing a multistate agreement to control who can use the water and how much of it. The main goal of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact is to make sure that no Great Lakes water ends up in a swimming pool in Phoenix or on restaurant tables in some far away place like Asia. It has been signed by the governors of the eight states surrounding the Great Lakes and the two Canadian premiers. Next it must be approved by all eight legislatures and then by Congress.

This session, the compact is wending its way through the area's legislatures for approval.

"It is critical for the states to ratify the proposed compact to protect the Great Lakes from the thirsty states and thirsty nations who covet our water," says Michigan Senator Patricia Birkholz. "The compact provides a well-coordinated and uniformly supported plan to protect the Great Lakes from diversion."

Minnesota passed the first legislation in February. Senator Ann Rest, sponsor of the bill, says the compact gives the Great Lakes states the opportunity to set the standards for water withdrawals as a region and to prohibit use by those outside the basin. At the same time, the individual states can set their own conservation programs, Rest says, acknowledging that current Minnesota law is tougher on water-management than the agreement.

"We will have joint sovereignty in this initiative and joint responsibility, but we can individually have stronger state protections."

Senator Rest and other proponents believe the compact will help protect the delicate ecosystem of the Great Lakes. Lake Superior is of special concern. Its level at the beginning of the year was the lowest in 81 years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Lakes Michigan and Huron are also at historic lows. All the lakes have suffered from sewage contamination, invasive species of aquatic plants, fish and mussels, and the diversion of water to support large cities around their shores.

The governors of all eight states have thrown their support behind the agreement even though, in some cases, portions of their states could be hurt. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Saving the Great Lakes: Eight States and Two Canadian Provinces in the Great Lakes Watershed Are Working to Protect This Important Resource
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.