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EPA Announces Partnership for First-Ever Great Lakes Week

Release Date: 06/15/2011
Contact Information: Peter Cassell, 312-886-6234, cassell.peter@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 11-OPA53

CHICAGO – (June 15, 2011) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other participating organizations today announced details of the first-ever Great Lakes Week scheduled for October 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The theme of Great Lakes Week is “Working Together, Taking Action” and will bring representatives of the U.S. and Canadian governments together with a broad coalition of public and private groups to highlight efforts to implement solutions for the lakes’ most pressing problems.

“For the Great Lakes to care for us, we need to take care of them,” said Cameron Davis, Senior Advisor for the Great Lakes to the EPA Administrator. “Government efforts alone cannot restore the lakes. Great Lakes Week will bring together businesses, environmental organizations and government agencies to take action to protect our shared resource.”

EPA coordinates the efforts of 15 federal and binational agencies as part of President Obama's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Great Lakes Week advances the GLRI, the largest investment in the lakes in two decades. The lakes provide jobs, recreation and drinking water for more than 30 million people in the Great Lakes basin. Great Lakes Week represents a new partnership to improve the places around the basin where people live, work, learn and play.

The week’s activities will focus on progress that has been made in restoration efforts and innovative solutions to challenges affecting the Great Lakes. Hosting the annual meetings and conferences of various organizations in one place will make this one of the most wide-ranging Great Lakes summits in history. The following meetings are scheduled:

• International Joint Commission Biennial Meeting.
• Great Lakes Commission Annual Meeting.
• Great Lakes Restoration Federal Meeting (closed press).
• Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition 7th Annual Great Lakes Restoration
Conference.
• Binational Accountability Report & Public Forum.
• Great Lakes Week Panel & Town Hall.
• Detroit River Front Walk and Boat Tour.
• U.S. Areas of Concern Program Annual Meeting.

“There is no higher priority than clean water and this historic joint meeting reflects the fact that it’s time for everyone – the public, industry, environmental organizations and government – to come together with a commitment to restore and protect the Great Lakes,” said Lana Pollack, U.S. Section Chair of the International Joint Commission.

For more on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, please visit http://www.glri.us.

For more on Great Lakes Week, participating organizations and how to register for events, see http://www.glri.us/glweek.html.

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