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EPA R/V Lake Guardian dedicated in honor of Peter L. Wise, former Great Lakes National Program Director

Release Date: 10/02/2007
Contact Information: Anne Rowan, 312-353-9391, rowan.anne@epa.gov

For Immediate Release
No. 07-OPA170

EPA R/V Lake Guardian dedicated in honor of Peter L. Wise, former Great Lakes National Program Director

(Chicago - Oct. 2, 2007) The work of the late Peter L. Wise, a former director of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes National Program Office was commemorated today at Chicago's Navy Pier by dedicating the R/V Lake Guardian in his name. The honor is in appreciation of the enduring accomplishments of Mr. Wise's federal career.

"Peter Wise enjoyed a long, distinguished career in environmental policy and will be remembered as a true champion for the Great Lakes," said GLNPO Manager Mary A. Gade. "Peter safeguarded the Great Lakes so dedicating the Lake Guardian in his honor is a meaningful way to recognize the crucial role he played during a pivotal time in Great Lakes history."

As GLNPO director from 1984-1987, Wise led the U.S. negotiating team in international talks to revise the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement in 1987. For his extraordinary efforts, he won the prestigious Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation. To this day, the binational agreement informs all Great Lakes policy, priorities and activities between the United States and Canada.

Wise's Canadian counterpart, Ron Shimizu, called the dedication of the R/V Lake Guardian "a deserving and fine tribute to Peter's lifelong effort."

"His role in the development of the 1987 protocol was outstanding," added Shimizu, former director of Environment Canada's Great Lakes Office. "It is particularly fitting that Peter's name be associated with a research and surveillance vessel as it speaks to his understanding that sound Great Lakes management must be based on knowledge and facts."

Acquired by EPA in 1988, the R/V Peter L. Wise Lake Guardian is a working ship operated by GLNPO. The vessel is 180 feet long and 40 feet wide, with state-of-the-art navigational, laboratory and mechanical equipment. Following a massive reconstruction, the ship went into service in 1991 as a floating lab to gather data on the conditions of the Great Lakes.

Scientists on the R/V Peter L. Wise Lake Guardian monitor pollutant concentrations in the water, air, fish, sediment and other biological matter. They also measure the effects of pollution and other natural and human stresses on the Great Lakes ecosystem.

"Thanks to Peter's vision and leadership, the biological, physical and chemical integrity of the Great Lakes ecosystem has been enhanced for future generations," said Ms. Gade.

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