Online Staff Report
CHICAGO — The federal Great Lakes Interagency Task Force has released a draft Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan for public input.
“Protecting communities around the Great Lakes and restoring this important ecosystem is a national and binational imperative,” said Task Force Chairman and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Today, we’re asking for input on our draft plan so it can be as effective as possible.”
The federal agencies provided extensive public input opportunities throughout 2013 to inform the development of the draft that is being released today. The new plan recognizes that states, tribes, municipalities, public-interest organizations, businesses, academia and other interests have a strong role to play in protecting the Great Lakes. The new plan covers FY 2015-2019. The document will guide actions to:
• Clean up areas of concern and reduce toxic contamination;
• Prevent and control invasive species;
• Reduce polluted runoff that impacts nearshore health;
• Restore habitat and native species; and
• Address cross-cutting issues such as science-based adaptive management and climate change.
The draft Action Plan is available at http://glri.us/public.html. Input on the draft can be provided through the same web page or by e-mail at email@example.com. So the agencies can release the final Action Plan before FY15 (starting Oct. 1), the most helpful input should be submitted by June 30. Input may be submitted, however, throughout the summer.
The Task Force will host two public webinars to discuss the draft: June 9 at 1 p.m. Central at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/789861232 and June 10 at 10 a.m. Central at https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/841679520.
The draft builds from the first Action Plan, covering FY10-14. Results from the GLRI in FY10-13 are available online at http://www.glri.us/pdfs/20140530-draft-glri-action-plan-2-reduced.pdf.
Posted May 30, 2014