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Council of Great Lakes Governors Leadership Summit (Quebec City, QB)

CGLI attended an invitation-only leadership conference organized by the Council of Great Lakes Governors (CGLG) on June 12-14 in Quebec City, Quebec (“Leadership Summit of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers”). Governor Snyder (MI), Governor Walker (WI), Premier Wynne (ON), and Premier Couillard (QC) attended the summit in person. All other Great Lakes states were represented by senior staff.

The Governors and Premiers took several high-level actions to express their commitment to continued cooperation. Among other things, the Governors and Premiers:

  • created the “Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers” to enable Ontario and Quebec to participate fully in establishing state/provincial priorities for the region;
  • pledged to develop a joint strategy for doubling maritime trade on the Great Lakes and shrinking the environmental impact of the region’s transportation network; and
  • adopted a resolution through which they agreed to “operationalize” the regional mutual aid agreement they entered into in 2013 for controlling aquatic invasive species, and to launch a pilot program to harmonize AIS regulations among the three jurisdictions (adopted by the Governors of Michigan and Ohio and the Premier of Ontario only).

Perhaps most importantly, the Governors of Michigan and Ohio and the Premier of Ontario agreed to work collaboratively to protect the Western Basin of Lake Erie (WBLE) from harmful algal blooms. This agreement proposes to achieve a 40% total load reduction in the amount of total and dissolved reactive phosphorus that is entering the WBLE by 2025, with an aspirational interim goal of a 20% reduction by 2020, compared to 2008 phosphorus loading data. This agreement is being hailed by regional NGOs and others as a “landmark” commitment.

For more information on the Council of Great Lakes Governors and their upcoming events, visit http://www.cglg.org/events/.