July 29, 2008

Bush Applauds Great Lakes Compact

U.S. President George W. Bush congratulated the governors and legislatures of the eight Great Lakes states Tuesday for approving a conservation agreement.

The states that border the Great Lakes -- Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- approved and sent to Congress the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact. The accord, also approved by two Canadian provinces, restricts the diversion of water from the Great Lakes watershed.

The five lakes comprise more than 20 percent of the world's surface fresh water.

The Great Lakes are a national treasure, the president said in a statement. "They were vital to the exploration of this continent and have long supported commerce. Today, more than 33 million people live in the States and Provinces bordering the lakes, and the lakes provide an efficient means to transport food and other commodities destined for global markets.

The Compact will ensure sustainable use and responsible management of waters from the Great Lakes Basin and preserve the Great Lakes for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations, said Bush. I strongly urge Congress to provide rapid approval of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.