By Chris Grubb, National Wildlife Federation
The 100-plus member Healing Our Waters® (HOW) Great Lakes Coalition is heading into the important 2008 U.S. election year with wind at its back. The coalition continues to push elected officials and the presidential candidates to implement and fund the manageable solutions contained in the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration (GLRC) Strategy because every day we wait the problems facing the Great Lakes get worse, and the solutions get more costly.
A fall 2007 report released by the public policy think-tank Brookings Institution confirms in dollars and cents what most of us already know from our daily experiences: the health of the Great lakes will determine the health and prosperity of our communities. Their “Healthy Waters, Strong Economy” report demonstrates that investing in the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy would lead to $80-$100 billion in economic benefits to the regional and U.S. economy.
Hundreds of advocates will descend on Washington, D.C. this February as part of Great Lakes Day to remind elected officials about that return on investment for the Great Lakes. You too can be a part of the solution for the Great Lakes by reaching out to your elected officials and the presidential candidates asking them to fund the GLRC Strategy. Visit www.healthylakes.org to learn more and get involved.