Residents offer views on future of
Comments sought for water-use, cleanup proposals
By Paul Brinkmann
Green Bay Press Gazette
Published August 30, 2005
ASHWAUBENON — It’s the grapefruit tree that really bothers
A family member of Andersen’s moved to Sun City, Ariz.,
to get away from pollen and northern winters. He started
growing grapefruit with the aid of a round-the-clock sprinkler
“He’s living in the desert and he’s got a drip hose that
runs all time,” Andersen said.
That’s why Andersen came to a meeting Monday night about
the Great Lakes. Like many others in the crowd of 60 people,
Andersen wants policies to protect lake water from being
siphoned off by other states.
The meeting on Monday was the final public hearing about
the Annex 2001 Implementing Agreements, a list of agreements
between eight states and two Canadian provinces on how
the lake will be used and protected.
Hundreds of similar hearings have been held around the
region to get public feedback. After final changes to
the agreements, the document will be sent to Congress
and all eight states and their Canadian counterparts to
Comments were also taken at the meeting for another big
Great Lakes effort reaching its final stages — the Great
Lakes Regional Collaboration, which would coordinate cleanup
efforts on the state and federal level and seek more funding
for the lakes.
Andersen’s comments applied to both projects.
“Our water is only valuable if we don’t sell it,” he
Most of the speakers at the hearing applauded the efforts
to protect the lakes. But some pointed out areas of the
agreements that could be stronger. Some said penalties
for breaking the rules should be stiff.
Roger Kuhns, a geologist from Egg Harbor, noted that
the agreements don’t address pumping water from deep wells
near the Great Lakes Basin.
“People pumping wells near the basin can reduce aquifers
connected to the lakes, and possibly lower the lake level,”
Betty Fierros of Green Bay said she found what appeared
to be raw sewage on the beach in Algoma recently.
“What I’m concerned about is that nothing will happen,”
Fierros said. “This is coming from some place. We’ve been
asking these questions a long time now.”
In the United States, the Implementing Agreements are
being handled by the Council of Great Lakes Governors,
which is headed by Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle.