Presidential hopefuls are being asked to support a Great Lakes water quality project that will cost at least $20 billion.
That's a good thing.
While the war in Iraq and economy dominate campaign speeches and debates, the future of the Great Lakes is just as important.
Democratic candidates Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York said they've already signed a pledge.
Some other candidates already have indicated an interest in signing the pledge.
We feel they should all take the pledge.
The Great Lakes Regional Collaboration, developed in 2005 by a partnership of government agencies, is calling for a "coordinated response of problems damaging the ecosystem, such as invasive species, toxic pollution, sewer overflows and wildlife habitat loss," wrote John Flesher, an environmental writer for the Associated Press.
The collaboration is on the right track. We should be willing to dedicate financial and physical resources to restoring the lakes to good health.
Last summer, the Tribune produced a package of stories on the health of Lake Michigan which is so vital to our economy.
While we learned that Grand Rapids has made great progress in reducing the number of combined sewage overflows, there are other sources of pollution that are harming Lake Michigan.
We residents of this beautiful area want to keep Lake Michigan from being harmed. The presidential candidates need to be aware of just how important the welfare of the Great Lakes is to the United States. The lakes make up 95 percent of the nation's surface fresh water.
We want to see our treasured lakes be revitalized, and we want to prevent other states from taking water from the Great Lakes.
It will take a strong commitment but with support from the future president, it can be done.