Wednesday, June 15, 2011

EPA Science Advisory Board Meetings On GLRI Review

Jun 15: U.S. EPA's Science Advisory Board (SAB) has announced a public face-to-face, 2-day meeting of the SAB panel to review the interagency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Action Plan (FY 2010-FY2014) that describes restoration priorities, goals, objectives, measurable ecological targets, and specific actions for the Great Lakes. The meeting will be held on July 12, 2011 from 9 AM to 5:30 PM  and on July 13, 2011 from 8 AM to 5 PM (Central Time) at the Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago.
    EPA is leading the interagency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to protect and restore the chemical, biological, and physical integrity of the Great Lakes. The GLRI is designed to target the most significant environmental problems in the region, as documented in extensive scientific studies and by stakeholder review. To guide the efforts of the GLRI, EPA and its Federal partners, through the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force, developed a comprehensive multi-year Action Plan. The GLRI Action Plan identifies outcome-oriented performance goals, objectives, measurable ecological targets, and specific actions for five major focus areas: toxic substances and areas of concern; invasive species; near-shore health and nonpoint source pollution; habitat and wildlife protection and restoration; and accountability, education, monitoring, evaluation, communication, and partnerships. The EPA Great Lakes National Program Manager has requested the SAB to review the GLRI Action Plan to assess the appropriateness of its measures and actions to achieve its stated priorities and goals. On June 1, the SAB issued a determination memo announcing the 16 members SAB Panel for Review of Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan.

    Access the Federal Register announcement of the meeting with further details and links to related information (click here). Access the SAB GLRI Panel website for complete information, documents and meetings related to the review (click here).
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IJC 2011 Great Lakes Water Quality Biennial Meeting

Jun 15: The International Joint Commission (IJC) announced that the 2011 Great Lakes Water Quality Biennial Meeting will be held October 12-14 on the campus of Wayne State University in Detroit. The theme of the meeting is "H2O NOW", emphasizing the pressing need for the public, industry, environmental groups and governments to take action and work together to protect and restore the Great Lakes. Lana Pollack, U.S. Co-Chair of the IJC said, "At the Biennial Meeting in Detroit, the public can learn firsthand about the health of the Great Lakes and how to press for action," H2O NOW is a reflection of the urgent need for action, not just by governments, but by everyone who uses the lakes to swim, fish and drink the water."

    For the first time, the IJC Biennial Meeting will be held in conjunction with the annual meetings of the Great Lakes Commission and the Healing Our Waters Coalition (an organization of more than 100 environmental groups), among other organizations. In addition to holding their respective meetings, all of the groups will meet jointly for a half day afternoon session on October 12 that will feature reports on progress toward Great Lakes restoration from top government officials and a public town hall meeting [
See WIMS 6/14/11].

    The Biennial Meeting is a critical opportunity for citizens throughout the Great Lakes basin community to become involved in the work of the IJC. Over the past two years expert work groups have been tasked by the Commission's Great Lakes advisory boards to undertake research in six key priority areas: the Nearshore Framework; Chemicals of Emerging Concern; Harmful and Nuisance Algae; Aquatic Invasive Species; Benefits and Risks of Fish Consumption; and Beaches and Recreational Water Quality. On October 13th, the public can participate in workshops on each of the priorities and provide comments on the findings and recommendations regarding draft reports that will be published later this summer. The public input will inform the 16th Biennial Report on Great Lakes Water Quality, a responsibility of the IJC under the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, to be published in 2012.
    Access a release from IJC (click here). Access the Biennial Meeting website for complete information including a detailed schedule and registration (click here).
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EPA, Et Al Announce Great Lakes Week

Jun 13: U.S. EPA and other participating organizations will announce on June 15, the details of the first-ever Great Lakes Week scheduled for October 2011 in Detroit. 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.
    Great Lakes Week is designed to advance the Administration's Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), deemed "the largest investment in the Great Lakes in two decades." The special week will also gather the annual meetings and conferences of various organizations in one place from October 11-14, making it one of the most wide-ranging Great Lakes summits in history. EPA and the other organizations will host a conference call to provide details about Great Lakes Week. The call will feature: Cameron Davis, Senior Advisor to the EPA Administrator (Great Lakes); Lana Pollack, U.S. Section Chair, International Joint Commission; Jennifer Hill, Field Director, Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition; and Dr. Carol J. Miller, Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Wayne State University.
    Access a release from EPA Region 5 (click here). Access a list of organizational meetings and events and register information  (click here). Access the GLRI website for more information (click here).