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  • Writer's pictureDan Robinson

Celebrate 50 Years by Sharing Your Opinions!

In a time when it can seem hard to get people to agree on anything, it's good to take a moment and celebrate what we can agree on. 50 years ago, the United States and Canada signed the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, which provided the framework for how the two nations work together to protect the "chemical, physical, and biological integrity" of the Great Lakes Basin.

If you want to catch up on the current chemical, physical and biological conditions of the Great Lakes you can read the "State of the Great Lakes 2022 Report" and the "2022 Progress Report of the Parties," published by the U.S. and Canadian governments. You can also find information about the Lakes at the International Joint Commission. Formed by the U.S. and Canadian governments, the Commission has, among its responsibilities, the task of overseeing the implementation of the Agreement.

Dawn on Lake Michigan at Point Beach, Wisconsin (photo by Dan Robinson)

This Agreement was an incredibly important moment in the work to protect the Great Lakes, so it's also an important moment to celebrate. Of course, celebrating takes many forms, In this case, the best we can celebrate the anniversary is to continue the work of protecting the Great Lakes Basin.

The Great Lakes Ecoregion Network (of which the Great Lakes Spirituality Project is a member) is sponsoring a series of webinars to (1) give an overview of the Agreement, (2) talk about the state of each of the Lakes, and (3) give people a chance to share their thoughts and insights on the work of protecting the Basin. These conversations will be recorded, compiled, then shared with the U.S. and Canadian governments and with the International Joint Commission.

The Agreement was amended twice in 1978 and 1987, and updated in 2012. All those changes were based on people looking at the Agreement, considering the state of the Lakes, and deciding that we could do better in protecting them. Now's your chance to continue to make the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement a "living document" - one that adapts to and addresses the current conditions. The schedule of the webinars is below, and I hope you'll take part. It's a great way to celebrate!


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