Great Lakes Restoration Blips on MI Radar

Contrary to a recent report in the Detroit News, the State of Michigan and, more specifically, the current cast of characters running the joint, have done little publicly to compel Congress to fully fund the $20 billion proposal to clean-up and restore the Great Lakes.

There's likely been behind-the-scenes conversations, and terse letters quietly mailed to the White House and federal administrators.

But Governor Jennifer Granholm has not made the urgent economic and environmental importance of Great Lakes restoration a recurring theme of her speeches to rally citizens.

Officials in neither the Michigan Economic Development Corporation nor the state Department of Environmental Quality have publicly stated restoration of the Great Lakes is a top priority and backed it up with bold and sustained action.

And I'm willing to bet a charter fishing boat trip on Lake Michigan that a poll of the State Legislature would reveal only a handful of lawmakers actually are aware there's a huge regional campaign undereway right now that's advocating for a historic Great Lakes clean-up.

It's just not been a priority. But now in the twilight of its reign, it appears Gov. Granholm's Administration is intensifying its interest in the restoration effort. Which is a fancy way of saying they'll produce another report on the matter.

"We want to make the White House a true partner," Lt. Gov. John Cherry told the Detroit News. "It's the right thing to do as stewards of this resource (and) it's the right thing to do for our economic development."