- Created a Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Maritime Initiative, which will look to improve the region's maritime transportation system and better integrate it into the broader transportation system in the region, across the two countries of the U.S. and Canada, and the world;
- Building on the success of the over 20-year, multi-state export promotion program, adopted a resolution calling for expanded international trade and export opportunities;
- Launched the "Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Water Partnership" as a tool to collectively advance the region's "blue economy" companies, and market them to the world;
- Identified a "least wanted list" of aquatic invasive species, and pledged to harmonize regulatory efforts to fight this ongoing scourge that threatens the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin;
- Promoted economic cooperation between Canada and the United States;
- Created beach safety awareness week and announced the creation of an "app" to help improve water safety for swimmers and other recreational users;
- Fostered the improvement of water quality by calling on the federal governments of the U.S. and Canada to address the problem of nutrient enrichment and harmful algal blooms; and,
- Initiated steps to better coordinate regional efforts to monitor water quality and quantity in the Basin to promote more effective policy.
Monday, June 3, 2013
Jun 1: The Great Lakes Governors and Premiers addressed a number of issues and initiatives at the Council of Great Lakes Governors (CGLG's) 2013 Leadership Summit events on June 1, 2013 at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island [See WIMS 5/31/13]. The Leadership Summit's theme, "Strengthening Our Economy and Protecting Our Great Lakes," included a particular focus on trade, transportation and water. During the course of the Summit, the Governors and Premiers addressed the following issues, setting the agenda for both the organization and the region:
Access the CGLG website for links to details on each of the initiatives and issues (click here). [GLakes/CGLG]
Jun 3: The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition (HOW) named Todd Ambs as its new director. Ambs previously served as president of the national conservation group River Network, a job he assumed after serving as chief of the water division for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Ambs will assume the reins of the 120-member Coalition of environmental, conservation, outdoor recreation organizations, zoos, aquariums and museums representing millions of people, whose common goal is to restore and protect the Great Lakes. He will be the Coalition's second director following the first director, Jeff Skelding, who announced that he was leaving in March to become executive director of the Friends of the Upper Delaware River. Ambs officially begins on July 1, working in Wisconsin as a team member of the National Wildlife Federation's Great Lakes Regional Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.
HOW indicated in a release that over the last four years the federal government has invested more than $1.3 billion in restoration programs to restore habitat, clean up toxic pollution, combat invasive species and prevent runoff from cities and farms. "Restoration programs are producing results -- but there is more work to do." Prior to his tenure at the Wisconsin DNR, Ambs served as executive director of the River Alliance of Wisconsin, a senior policy analyst at the Wisconsin Department of Justice, and executive director of Rivers Unlimited, based in Columbus, Ohio. During his career, he has also served as policy director in the Ohio attorney general's office and assistant chief of public information and education at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
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