September 23, 2008

U.S. House Approves Great Lakes Compact

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 23, 2008

CONTACT: Emily Green, Great Lakes Program Director, (608) 257-4994 
                     Melissa Damaschke, Great Lakes Representative – Michigan, (313) 965-0055

Sierra Club Applauds Congress in 
Protecting a National Treasure

Detroit, MI – Today, the Sierra Club applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for approving the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.

The Compact is an eight-state water management agreement between Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. It protects the nation’s largest fresh surface water resource from diversions outside of the Great Lakes Basin. It also sets clear limits on who can have access to Great Lakes water, sets standards for those taking water from the Lakes, and calls for water conservation throughout the Great Lakes’ region.

The U.S. Senate approved the Compact in early August. After today’s approval in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Compact will go to President Bush’s desk for his signature. The President has already indicated his support of the agreement.

“Today, we applaud Congress for their commitment in protecting the Great Lakes for the benefit of future generations. Their leadership has given us a rare opportunity to ensure that our Great Lakes, one of the natural wonders of the world, will not be sold to the highest bidder,” said Emily Green, Director of Sierra Club’s Great Lakes Program.

Because the Great Lakes are so intricately tied to the region’s economy and house a diversity of species, ecosystems, and natural resources, protecting the Great Lakes from future water diversions and overuse will ensure the sustainability of this precious resource for future generations.

“Protecting the Great Lakes, one of America’s national treasures, from diversion and unsustainable use will ensure that these waters are available to support and sustain future generations, protecting human communities against the adverse effects of climate change,” said Melissa Damaschke, Representative for Sierra Club’s Great Lakes Program.

For more information on Sierra Club’s Great Lakes Program, go to