GLRC Issue Area Strategy Teams

The Issue Area Strategy Teams, made up of government and organizational representatives, were the working bodies that produced draft recommended strategic action plans for consideration by members of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration.

The Strategy Teams listed below were organized around eight of the nine priorities established by the Council of Great Lakes Governors on October 1, 2003. These priorities subsequently were adopted by the Great Lakes Cities Initiative as well. Note: the first of the nine Governor’s priorities addressed water use and diversion issues. This priority issue was being addressed through the Council of Great Lakes Governors' ongoing binational Great Lakes Water Management Initiative, so it was not included in the scope of the Strategy Teams.

Issue Areas

Information about the issues that were covered by each Team, and co-chair contacts, is summarized below

Issues covered included, but were not limited to, restoration / protection of habitat, native species, fisheries, coastal areas, wetlands, healthy forests, the natural hydrologic cycles, biodiversity, and other critical natural features and areas.

Team Co-Chairs:

  • Leon Carl, Director, U.S. Geological Survey, Great Lakes Science Center
  • Scott Hassett, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Issues covered included, but were not limited to, indicators, monitoring, data standards, reporting of environmental information, Great Lakes Integrated Coastal Observing System (GLICOS), Lakewide Management Plans (LaMPs), and the State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference (SOLEC) process. Emphasis was on strengthening decision-support systems.

Team Co-Chairs:

  • Steve Brandt, Director, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab
  • Roger Gauthier, Program Manager for Data & Information Management; Great Lakes Commission

Issues covered included, but were not limited to, reduction of toxic substances, pollution prevention, new chemicals of concern, air deposition and long range transport, Great Lakes Initiative (GLI) and fish consumption advisories.

Team Co-Chairs:

  • Gary Gulezian, Director, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes National Program Office
  • James Zorn, Policy Analyst, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission

Issues covered included, but were not limited to, transportation, brownfields, land-use and preservation practices, waterfront restoration, and economic viability as a function of environmental and natural resource protection.

Team Co-Chairs:

  • Jan Miller, Environmental Engineer , U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Gary Becker, Mayor, City of Racine

Although human health was to be explicitly addressed as appropriate in the other Strategy Teams, there were several specific coastal issues that can very directly impact human health. Issues covered included, but were not limited to: beach closings, combined sewer overflows (CSO), sanitary sewer overflows (SSO), bacteria and pathogen contamination.

Team Co-Chairs:

  • Gerald F. Mikol, Regional Director, Region 9, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Sadhu Johnston Commissioner, Department of Environment, City of Chicago

Issues covered included, but were not limited to, restoring the health of AOCs through the remedial action program, cleaning up contaminated sediments through the implementation of the Great Lakes Legacy Act and other authorities, and delisting of AOCs.

Team Co-Chairs:

  • Joe Koncelik, Director, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
  • David Cowgill, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Great Lakes National Program Office
  • Steven Chester, Director, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Overarching considerations

In addition to the specific issue areas addressed by individual Teams, the overarching issues of human health, research and information, and tribal perspectives were considered by all of the Strategy Teams as they pursued their work. Human health issues are discussed in a number of recommendations made by the Strategy Teams, particularly the Coastal Health Team, the Persistent Toxics Team, and the Areas of Concern/Sediment Team. Tribal interests and perspectives are summarized in the Executive Summary of the GLRC Strategy to Restore and Protect the Great Lakes under the section entitled “Role of Tribal Nations”. Research and monitoring issues are included chiefly in recommendations from the Indicators and Information Team.

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