Protections Against Diversions get an Awesome Award

If you live in the Great Lakes, you surely know how awesome they are.  Certainly, they are unmatched in their world class hunting/fishing opportunities and are a part of our way of life.

But did you know:

  • Together, the five Great Lakes make up 84% of all fresh surface water in North America
  • The Great Lakes provide 20% of fresh surface water in the world

So, its no surprise that the Council of State Governments has awarded one of its prestigious 2012 Innovation Awards for the Great Lakes Compact.  These awards are given annually to State programs that are particularly innovative and creative in problem-solving.

In a nutshell, the Great Lakes Compact -signed into law in 2008- is a binding agreement among the 8 Great Lakes states and two Canadian Provinces to protect the Great Lakes from diversions and promote sustainable use of our water. Clearly the Great Lakes Compact is innovative as its a very unique way of ‘managing’ water in the Great Lakes.

Its no joke that before the Compact was signed into law, there was a real threat of Great Lakes water being diverted to the Southwest.  The Compact effectively banned this from happening.

While the Compact itself is a significant victory for our Great Lakes and we must continue to celebrate it – as the Council of State Governments has recognized – the work to implement the Compact is not done. 

Click here to see where the States/Provinces are: Compact Progress Report 6-7-2012.

This award is a reminder to the Great Lakes states that the Compact is a living document that requires constant attention and implementing.  Otherwise, we might fail to truly realize the protections the Compact provides.

The Great Lakes are vast, but surprisingly fragile.

Thanks to the Council of State Governments for recognizing this and celebrating the innovative protections the Great Lakes Compact provides.

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