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Summit On Great Lakes Begins Today In Cleveland

Anglers and sailboat enthusiasts enjoy Lake Erie outside Edgewater Park (pic by Brian Bull).
Anglers and sailboat enthusiasts enjoy Lake Erie outside Edgewater Park (pic by Brian Bull).

SCHAEFER: The annual Great Lakes Week in Cleveland will bring together the many diverse groups from the U.S. and Canada that are leading the effort to restore the lakes. Highlights will include the first look at a new bi-national Great Lakes water quality agreement...an opportunity to share concerns about the health and economic impacts of Lake Erie algae...and a joint discussion with US and Canadian officials about new threats to the lakes, like invasive species such as Asian carp. Local tours will provide an opportunity for some Ohio groups to show off what they've accomplished with federal funding from the $300-million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Organizer Jeff Skelding from the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition says this year, representatives from both presidential campaigns will also attend.

SKELDING: They're going to tell us just how important they feel Lake Erie and the Great Lakes are at a national level. And we hope that they're going to share what their commitments are moving forward in terms of funding the on-going clean-up of the lakes.

SCHAEFER: Skelding says getting political commitments from both parties is crucial to continued funding of Great Lakes clean-up, money that is also helping to spur economic growth for the more than 30-million people who live in the region. For ideastream, I'm Karen Schaefer.