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Cleveland to Host Great Lakes Week in 2012

Release Date: 05/03/2012
Contact Information: Peter Cassell, 312-886-6234, cassell.peter@epa.gov

CHICAGO (May 3, 2012) – An unprecedented effort to restore the Great Lakes will be highlighted in Cleveland this September when hundreds of advocates, scientists, public officials and conservation leaders gather for Great Lakes Week 2012. The theme of this year’s event, to be held Sept. 10-13 in downtown Cleveland, is “Taking Action, Delivering Results.” It will focus public attention on efforts to rid the Great Lakes of toxic hotspots, reduce polluted runoff, restore fish and wildlife habitat, and prevent Asian carp and other invasive species from entering the lakes.

Great Lakes Week advances the federal Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades. The special week also gathers the annual meetings and conferences of various U.S. and Canadian organizations in one place, making it one of the most wide-ranging Great Lakes summits. Leaders will explore issues of importance to citizens on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border.
Great Lakes Week 2012 will feature the following events:

•Sept. 10: International Joint Commission Meeting.
•Sept. 10-11: Great Lakes Commission Annual Meeting.
•Sept. 10: Great Lakes Week Town Hall.
•Sept. 11-13: Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition’s 8th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference.
•Sept. 12: A joint session with U.S. and Canadian federal officials and organizations participating in Great Lakes Week.
•Sept. 12-13: Great Lakes Areas of Concern Annual Conference.

Quotes from Great Lakes Week partner groups:

“We’re excited to be coming to Cleveland, a city which has been at the center of some of the nation’s most urgent environmental challenges—and greatest comeback stories,” said Jeff Skelding, Director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “Restoration projects are producing results. And even though a lot of work remains, we are eager to showcase our successes in Cleveland.”

“We all have a vision for what we want the Great Lakes to be for the region’s economic and environmental future,” said Cameron Davis, EPA’s Senior Great Lakes Advisor. “Great Lakes Week is the chance for leaders from both countries to come together to demonstrate what they’ve done and will continue to do to keep pushing for that vision to become a reality.”

“Great Lakes Week will help build upon the enormous energy that now exists to restore the Great Lakes and keep invasive species like Asian carp and others from colonizing the lakes," said Tim Eder, executive director of the Great Lakes Commission.

“Communities across the basin witness daily how Great Lakes restoration benefits both the environment and economy,” said Dave Ullrich, Executive Director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. “Cities are the front lines of the restoration effort and are working to ensure our binational commitment to the Lakes continues.”

“In Cleveland, the IJC will be reporting on our priority research work, highlighted by our focus on Lake Erie,” said Lana Pollack, U.S. Chair of the International Joint Commission. “Supported by a new Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the U.S. and Canada can work together to make real progress on the challenges facing Lake Erie.”

For more information on Great Lakes Week activities visit www.glweek.org, or contact:

EPA, Pete Cassell, 312-886-6234.
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, Dave Ullrich, 312-201-4516.
Great Lakes Commission, Dave Knight, 734-971-9135.
Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, Jordan Lubetkin, 734-887-7109.
International Joint Commission Meeting, John Nevin, 519-903-6001.