Great Lakes Week Kicks Off in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE (September 9, 2013) – More than 600 environmentalists, business leaders, scientists, industry representatives, and civic leaders from United States and Canada are gathering in Milwaukee to attend Great Lakes Week, which kicks off today. Learn more at:

The gathering comes at a critical juncture for the Great Lakes and for the 30 million people who live in the region and depend on them for drinking water. Federal funding from the U.S. Congress for Great Lakes restoration is threatened by fiscal constraints in Washington. The U.S. EPA is revising its long-term blueprint to restore the Lakes. Leaders from the U.S. and Canada are in the throes of implementing a sweeping bi-national water agreement. Communities are grappling with the impacts of climate change. And the region is working to address a new threat to the Lakes—the potential for an oil pipeline spill in the Great Lakes, the largest source of fresh surface water on the planet.

Detroit Public Television is providing daily coverage at:

Great Lakes Week encompasses conferences hosted by the International Joint Commission, U.S. EPA, Great Lakes Commission, Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition, and Environment Canada, as well as the Council of Great Lakes Industries, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Cities Initiative and the newly organized Council of the Great Lakes Region – the leading organizations that deal with Great Lakes issues.

Great Lakes Week will highlight current successes in the Great Lakes as well as existing challenges they face. A panel discussion moderated by Lee Bergquist, environmental reporter for Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, on Tuesday, September 10, at 1 PM, will focus on how the region is taking action to help cities, rural communities, businesses, industries, and wildlife adapt to climate change.

Other highlights of Great Lakes Week include:

September 9: At the Great Lakes Commission Annual Meeting representatives from the eight Great Lakes states and two Canadian provinces will discuss the water withdrawal proposal from Waukesha, Wis.; innovative solutions to protect clean water from nutrient pollution; fluctuating water levels and impacts from climate change; other challenges facing the lakes

September 9 & 10: The first binational public forum under the new Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, hosted by the U.S. EPA and Environment Canada

September 10: Panel discussion focusing on Lake Erie, hosted by the International Joint Commission

September 10: Eight years after scientists warned the Great Lakes were nearing a tipping point of irreversible damage, a panel investigates where we are and where we need to go. Hosted by the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition

September 11: Will Allen, founder and CEO of Growing Power, Inc., discusses how restoration and environmental stewardship can be a positive force in urban areas.

September 12: A 60-year-old pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac poses serious threats to the Great Lakes, hosted by the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

For more information on Great Lakes Week, including a schedule of event, visit:

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