Jeff Skelding, director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition said, "We look forward to meeting with Obama Administration officials to discuss how we can work together to support Great Lakes restoration projects that benefit the environment and economy. Restoration efforts are producing results, but there is more to do. Continued leadership by President Obama and the U.S. Congress will be essential to restore our lakes, protect our drinking water, create jobs and uphold our way of life." The gathering, sponsored by the White House Council on Environmental Quality's Office of Public Engagement, comes as coalition members from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin conclude two days of meetings with U.S. congressional offices as part of Great Lakes Days.
The HOW Coalition views 2012 as a pivotal year in the effort to restore the Great Lakes, as the fate of key water issues hinge on actions by the Obama Administration and U.S. Congress. Among them: Funding the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and other clean water programs; Reauthorizing the Farm Bill, the largest funding source for federal conservation programs; Finalizing EPA guidelines dealing with clean water protections and Coast Guard and EPA rules addressing polluted ballast water discharges; and, Acting to prevent the advance of Asian carp, which are on the doorstep to the Lakes.
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