“The Great Lakes Coastal Trail Conference — taking place Thursday and Friday in Saugatuck, Mich. — aims to bring together supporters in the U.S. and Canada to formalize development of a roughly 11,270-kilometre route.The route would include Great Lakes shoreline and the St. Lawrence River, which connects the lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.An aim is to draw tourists to the region, which includes eight U.S. states and Quebec and Ontario.It would integrate independent biking and kayaking trail developments in states such as Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.”
Governors of the Great Lakes states and Canadian officials have recently vowed to work more closely to combat aquatic invasive species that threaten the Great Lakes system, but disagreements over the best course(s) of action linger.
From The Detroit News:
“But the difficult balancing act of weighing the economic and transportation interests of the eight states and two Canadian providences against the long-term ecological stability of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway was on full display Saturday at the Mackinac Island summit of regional officials.Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, whose state has faced criticism and lawsuits for moving too slow to combat the invading Asian carp, surprised fellow governors by shifting the state’s position to support the sealing off of the manmade Chicago waterways that connect the Mississippi River to the Great Lakes.‘Ultimately, I think we have to separate the basins,’ Quinn said at the first meeting of the Council of Great Lakes Governors in eight years. ‘I really feel that is the ultimate solution. We have to do it.’
Quinn’s endorsement of separating the two basins, seen as a potential breakthrough by environmentalists, was criticized by neighboring Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, even as the Great Lakes leaders sought to appear united on other issues at the summit.
Pence said his state remains opposed to closing the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal’s connection to Mississippi River tributaries that provide a southern transportation route for freighters carrying $1.9 billion in goods annually from Indiana factories and farms.”
A commission of U.S. and Canadian experts is recommending immediate study in to causes for the historically low levels in the Great Lakes, and possible actions that can be taken.
From The Wall Street Journal:
“In a report in March 2012, a panel formed by the International Joint Commission didn’t take a stand on whether to try to fix the situation in the St. Clair, northeast of Detroit on the Michigan-Ontario border. After extended public hearings last summer, though, the commission is now recommending serious consideration by the two nations of how to slow the river’s water flow.
‘Although future water levels are uncertain, we cannot ignore the damage from record low water levels,’ Joe Comuzzi, Canadian chairman of the commission, said in a statement. ‘From Georgian Bay to Door County, from shoreline property owners to the shipping industry, we heard calls for action, and we urge governments to act in response to our recommendations.'”
Follow the link for the complete article, including the commission’s recommendations.
- Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Announces 2023 Fellows for the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program
- Funding opportunity open for 2024-25 research projects
- National Sea Grant partnerships address water equity in marginalized neighborhoods
- Apply now for the 2024 Knauss Fellowship in Washington, D.C.
- IISG invites applications for faculty and graduate scholars programs
- Aquatic Invasive Species
- Climate Ready Communities
- Director's Blog
- Funded Research
- Great Lakes Cleanup
- Great Lakes Data
- Healthy Waters
- Recreation & Tourism
- Sea Grant Scholars
- Stormwater & Green Infrastructure
- Sustainable Community Planning
- The Helm
- Water Supply