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Great Lakes Article:

A more vocal voice for the Great Lakes
Northwest Indiana Times

Our opinion: This new consortium just might be the solution to preserving a valuable asset for future generations.

A week after a congressional hearing focused on who is in charge of keeping the Great Lakes clean, there was a welcome announcement that a Great Lakes Cities Initiative has formed.

Still in its nascent stage, this initiative -- with only an office in Chicago and an executive director -- is open to leaders of municipalities lining the shoreline from here to Ontario. It is to have a cohesive, strong voice protecting and restoring these precious natural resources.

Among the group's major goals is involving the mayors in a Great Lakes restoration plan, something the governors of the Great Lakes states have begun.

Gary Mayor Scott King is Northwest Indiana's only mayor involved in the group. King should not hesitate to encourage his counterparts in other Lake Michigan communities to join this coalition. The more voices speaking as one, the stronger

Ironically, at last week's congressional hearing, there was a challenge to define who is leading the charge to coordinate cleanup efforts of the Great Lakes.

Ohio Sen. George Voinovich, chairman of the Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, wanted to know if "there is an orchestra leader who knows what all of you are doing and is coordinated."

He got no response.

The new Great Lake Cities Initiative might prove to be the answer.

If the elected leaders of this group can come together to deal with not only the specific needs of their states, but for the overall good of all Great Lakes communities, this consortium just might be able to preserve a valuable asset for future generations.

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