Chair's Letter - November 2023
For the past four years, it has been a privilege to serve as the chair of the Conference of Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers. Together, we have worked to achieve and accomplish much toward protecting, conserving, and improving natural resources across our region:
- Launched the 100% Great Lakes Fish initiative that is helping to improve the sustainability and value of our fishery by using all of each commercially caught Great Lakes fish.
- Created an ambitious goal to plant 250 million trees in our region by 2033. This initiative builds off the tree planting goals that the Great Lakes St. Lawrence States and Provinces, including Wisconsin, have already adopted.
- Worked with Congress to get full federal funding for the new Soo Lock and are keeping it on track for completion in 2030.
- Welcomed a record number of cruise passengers as a result of our Cruise the Great Lakes program and the hard work of many partners.
Similarly, in Wisconsin, we have increased funding for programs that reduce runoff and other pollutants from entering our lakes and rivers and made crucial investments in coastal resilience projects all along our Great Lakes coastlines. We have removed contaminated sediment from a number of sites and, just recently, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced the largest ever clean-up project under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. This clean-up will remediate the Milwaukee Estuary, cleaning up nearly 2 million cubic yards of contaminated sediment. These actions will have major positive impacts for Wisconsin and the entire Great Lakes St. Lawrence Basin.
My colleagues and I recently elected Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to be GSGP’s next chair and Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to continue serving as vice chair. I have no doubt the future of the Conference is in good hands under their leadership, and I look forward to working with them in these roles and appreciate their ongoing partnership.
Thank all of you for your continued support and collaboration. Together, we’ll continue to make great progress for our states and provinces and the entire Great Lakes region.
Yours in service,
Chair, Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers
Governor, State of Wisconsin