Editorial: Great Lakes cleanup merits
Wisconsin State Journal
Published July 14, 2005
A far-reaching plan to restore and protect the Great Lakes
is a step closer following the completion last week of
a $20-billion proposal by a partnership of federal, state,
tribal and local representatives. Needed now is a concerted
effort to trim the cost and to sharpen a strategy for
earning support in Congress and other government bodies
expected to provide the money.
The effort deserves Wisconsin's wholehearted support.
With extensive shorelines on two of the Great Lakes, the
state has a major stake in the outcome.
Plans to restore the ailing Great Lakes have been proposed
before only to stall in Congress. But the recommendations
last week came from the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration,
a committee assembled by the Bush administration. With
presidential support, this group has clout previously
The recommendations range from upgrading wastewater treatment
to restoring wetlands to imposing regulations to prevent
invasive species from hitchhiking into the lakes in ships'
The astounding price tag suggests the plan faces an uphill
battle. Time remains, however, to look for ways to bring
the cost down. The plan will be submitted for a 60-day
public comment period. A final version is expected to
go to Congress by December.
The regional collaboration process is an excellent opportunity
to clean up the lakes. The Great Lakes states, including
Wisconsin, should use the remainder of this year to make
sure the plan and its final cost are defensible and to
unite in a campaign to sell the plan in Washington.
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