Living in northern Michigan, we aren’t too far from one thing that makes the state so special: the Great Lakes.
On Thursday night, Canada’s Ambassador to the U.S. hosted the Great Lakes Day Fireside Chat.
It was a chance to discuss efforts to ensure a healthy and vibrant Great Lakes ecosystem and economy.
“We have a shared vision for the Great Lakes. We have a shared understanding of how valuable the Great Lakes are to the people of both countries,” said Marc Gaden, Communications Director and Legislative Liaison for Great Lakes Fishery Commission.
The border between the U.S. Canada goes through Lakes Superior, Erie, Huron and Ontario. But no matter the side, what happens in the lakes impacts both countries.
“You can’t take care of the environmental concerns on the American side or the Canadian side. We have to work on that together,” said Senator Jane Cordy of Nova Scotia.
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was implemented in 2010.
“These dollars through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative help in fishery restoration. It helps in invasive species control. It helps in cleaning up the most polluted, toxic hotspots in the Great Lakes Basin. And it’s devoting attention to habitat recovery,” said Gaden.
Now, Canadian lawmakers are stepping up to protect the Great Lakes.
“We have a lot of catching up to do, and I’ll be the first one to stand up and admit that,” said Vance Badawey, Member of the House of Commons of Canada. “We have to step further up to the plate and start aligning ourselves directly with our U.S. partners with respect to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.”
Pushing to create a Canadian version of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and contribute more to the great lakes fishery commission.
“We’re rolling up our sleeves, working with the different organizations, working with our U.S. partners to ensure that that the attention and the respect and of course, overall sustainability is added to the overall Great Lakes agenda,” said Badawey.
“It gives me great hope for the future. And not only in that the two countries seem to be ready and willing to identify their shared objectives, but also to put some monetary resources behind them to achieve those objectives,” said Gaden.