Great Lakes Environmental Directory Great Lakes Great Lakes environment Great Lakes grants exotic species water pollution water export drilling environment Great Lakes pollution Superior Michigan Huron Erie Ontario ecology Great Lakes issues wetlands Great Lakes wetlands Great Lakes Great Lakes environment Great Lakes watershed water quality exotic species Great Lakes grants water pollution water export oil gas drilling environment environmental Great Lakes pollution Lake Superior Lake Michigan Lake Huron Lake Erie Lake Ontario Great Lakes ecology Great Lakes issues Great Lakes wetlands Great Lakes Resources Great Lakes activist Great Lakes environmental organizations Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat air pollution alien species threatened rare endangered species ecological Great Lakes information Success Stories Great Lakes Directory Home/News Great Lakes Calendar Great Lakes jobs/volunteering Search Great Lakes Organizations Take Action! Contact Us Resources/Links Great Lakes Issues Great Lakes News Article About Us Networking Services

Great Lakes Article:

Opinion: Protect our Great Lakes from misuse
Petoskey News Review
Published November 10th, 2004


We don't see the Great Lakes as akin to soy beans or pork bellies, just some commodity - but some politicians do.

Several candidates for political office, during interviews with the News-Review editorial board, pointed to trouble brewing for the Great Lakes under a revised agreement between lake basin states and Canadian provinces.

We couldn't agree more. Rather that stopping diversions of Great Lakes water, the so-called Great Lakes Charter Annex Agreement, known informally as Annex 2001, appears to actually permit the practice.

The pact would not try to ban all out-of-basin diversions. Instead, it would subject them to what supporters describe as tough regulations meant to protect the lakes from misuse, the Associated Press reports.

Since 1986, federal law gave governors of any Great Lakes state veto over exports of water outside the system's drainage basin, which extends more than 750 miles from the St. Lawrence River to beyond the western shore of Lake Superior.

A 1998 proposal to ship Lake Superior water to Asia prompted warnings that the law could be struck down as a violation of the U.S. Constitution and free-trade pacts.

So along came Annex 2001, which provides for the inevitability of water leaving the Great Lakes. Diversions averaging more than 1 million gallons a day over 120 days would require unanimous approval of the eight states.

Critics say the plan makes a crucial error by conceding that diversions cannot be stopped. We agree and side with the observation of Annex 2001 opponent, Traverse City environmental attorney Jim Olson, who says the agreement underestimates the powers held by the states under the common-law principle that the lakes are a public trust, not an economic commodity bought and sold on some trading floor.

Like we said, the lakes aren't pork bellies.

If adopted, Annex 2001 will leave the lakes with less protection than they have today. These lakes are not only critical to our health and well being, they are probably the biggest contributor to our tourism economy here on the shores of Little Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan.

Let the governor and state elected officials know how you feel. The eight state governors and province premiers hope to sign a final version next spring, then send it to the state legislatures and Congress for ratification.

To dig up an old saying from the 1980s, "Just Say No." We can and will protect our lakes from poachers, pumps and politicians.

This information is posted for nonprofit educational purposes, in accordance with U.S. Code Title 17, Chapter 1,Sec. 107 copyright laws.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for
purposes of your own that go beyond "fair use," you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


Great Lakes environmental information

Return to Great Lakes Directory Home/ Site Map