Friday, November 12, 2010
Nov 12: The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) has called on the Obama Administration to maintain a strong foundation for ongoing management and conservation of the Great Lakes in its FY 2012 budget proposal. In correspondence sent to the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), GLC Chair James Tierney emphasized that both the Administration and Congress have stated clearly that special funding provided under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is intended to supplement, not supplant, base funding for regional and national programs that support continued management of the Great Lakes [emphasis in original].
The Commission continues to strongly support the GLRI, which is implementing a comprehensive restoration plan built on the priorities of the region's governors and broadly endorsed by local governments, tribes, business and industry, and conservation groups. The Initiative addresses specific restoration priorities, however, and does not take the place of, or lessen the need for, base Federal programs that ensure the effective use and conservation of the Great Lakes. The President's FY 2012 budget proposal is being prepared by OMB and will be submitted to Congress in February 2011. The GLC letter asks that OMB and the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force honor the "clear intent of Congress and the Administration that funding for base Great Lakes programs be maintained at 2009 levels as the GLRI moves forward."
GLC points out that when Congress approved FY 2010 appropriations it directed U.S. EPA to "work with the other Federal agencies to ensure [GLRI] funds supplement and expand, not supplant, base Great Lakes programs when compared to fiscal year 2009 levels." Similarly, the GLRI Action Plan, adopted by the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force in February 2010, states that "agencies must assure that they continue to support their existing base program activities in the Great Lakes and that added Initiative support will not be used to supplant their existing base funding."
Nov 12: The Great Lakes Commission (GLC) has announced that the extensive presentations from the 10th annual Great Lakes Beach Association Conference held October 19-22, 2010, at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center in Erie, PA are now available. The Great Lakes Beach Association (GLBA) is presently made up of members from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Environment Canada and several mid-west universities and non-government agencies. Local, county and state public health, regulatory agencies, coordinating agencies, researchers and environmental groups are among the groups involved.