U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Steve Johnson was in Detroit last week to discuss a draft strategy for cleaning up the Great Lakes. The plan was prepared by the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration, a partnership of federal, state and local governments, tribes and other interested parties to work on Great Lakes environmental and natural resource issues.
"Working separately, environmental success is limited," said Johnson. "The unprecedented partnership of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration has brought all our partners to the table to ensure the Great Lakes remain an international treasure forever open to trade and tourism."
During his remarks, Johnson had special praise for the partnership that has worked to restore and protect the Detroit River watershed: "Through community-based public and private partnerships, the Detroit River is again becoming a gathering place for wildlife and families. I am pleased that the efforts here will be highlighted as a collaborative model to the rest of the nation at the White House Conference on Cooperative Conservation."
The White House conference Aug. 29-31 in St. Louis will bring together key stakeholders and decision makers who can advance cooperative conservation and facilitate the exchange of information and advice for successful partnerships. The Detroit River partnership will be one of 30 case-studies highlighted as examples of successful local conservation efforts.
The Detroit River partnership includes DTE Energy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Michigan Sea Grant, Downriver Linked Greenways and many other public and private organizations.