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Federation Launches Initiative to Save Great Lakes Water

The Lake Michigan Federation

Posted on 09/27/2002

The Lake Michigan Federation, the oldest citizens' Great Lakes group on the continent, is initiating a major project to promote smart water use into the next century and beyond.

"Every time you look out across the vast expanses of the Great Lakes it's easy to be tricked into thinking that they go on forever," said Gary Ballesteros, vice president of the Federation's board of directors in announcing the grant. "Nothing could be further from the truth. We need to use their waters with more care if they're to continue to provide drinking water, habitat, and a priceless quality of life for the region."

According to the International Joint Commission, a U.S.-Canada advisory body, less than 1 percent of Great Lakes water is renewed every year through rain, snowmelt, and groundwater.

The project will define how Great Lakes ecosystem health can be restored through more efficient water use. The project starts this summer as a collaborative effort by the Federation, West Shore Water Producers Association, Council of Great Lakes Industries, and Policy Solutions, a policy consulting firm in Chicago.

The project is supported by the Great Lakes Protection Fund. Based in Evanston, Illinois, the Fund is a private, nonprofit corporation formed in 1989 by the Governors of the Great Lakes States. It is a permanent environmental endowment that supports collaborative actions to improve the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem.

For more information about the project, contact Cheryl Mendoza, project manager on the Federation's staff, at

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