Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers Announce Steps to Protect our Waters and Grow our Regional Economy

Milwaukee, Wisconsin – The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers gathered today for their 2019 Leadership Summit. The Governors and Premiers announced a series of actions on water, transportation, impact investing, and tourism.

“The waters of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River unite our states and provinces,” said Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Chair of the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers. “Today we are gathering to protect this natural asset that is the source of our continuing prosperity.”

“We share the commitment of protecting and promoting the Great Lakes, this incredible natural resource,” said Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Vice Chair of the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers. “In Ohio, we border Lake Erie, the shallowest of the Great Lakes and one especially susceptible to threats like invasive species and harmful algal blooms. I have made protecting Lake Erie a priority of my administration and have introduced a program called H2Ohio to invest in long-term water quality solutions.”

Governor Evers is hosting the Summit from June 14-16 in Milwaukee. Ohio Governor and Conference Vice Chair Mike DeWine, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, and Wisconsin Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes are joining Governor Evers. Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will be representing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; Minister Rod Phillips will be representing Ontario Premier Doug Ford; and, Minister Chantal Rouleau will be representing Québec Premier François LegaultSenior representatives of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf are also participating in the Summit.

The Governors and Premiers today announced a series of ambitious actions to grow the region’s $6 trillion economy and protect the world’s greatest freshwater system:

  • Working with one another and with federal partners to address drinking water contaminants like lead and PFAS;
  • Launching “Cruise the Great Lakes,” a new marketing initiative that will boost the regional cruising industry;
  • Calling on the US Congress to fully fund construction of a new Soo Lock, the linchpin of the maritime system. A new lock will ensure the viability of essential industries and protect the region’s economic prosperity;
  • Developing an international action plan designed to double maritime trade with Europe;
  • Unveiling the Great Lakes Impact Investment Platform to help harness private sector capital for regional environmental improvements; and,
  • Showcasing cutting-edge maritime technologies through an autonomous research ship demonstration.

“My administration is pleased to join our fellow Great Lakes states and provinces to continue our collaboration in protecting these shared resources, and promoting the trade and tourism that drives the region’s economy,” said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. “Pennsylvania’s waterfront on Lake Erie is among the most beautiful and unique areas of the commonwealth, an ecologically significant watershed and home to diverse wildlife, and a point of connection to the economic engine of Great Lakes trade and tourism which is critical to the economy of the entire state.”

“Quebec is proud of the advances announced today. It will benefit Quebec’s economic growth by allowing us to use our maritime network to its full potential all while ensuring the protection of the rich biodiversity of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River,” said François Legault, Premier of Québec.

The Governors and Premiers continue to collaborate with one another, and with other partners, toward shared goals. Prominent speakers at the Summit include:

  • U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin
  • U.S. Representative Gwen Moore
  • Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele
  • Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett
  • Kevin Shafer, Executive Director, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
  • Radhika Fox, Chief Executive Officer, US Water Alliance
  • Neil Hawkins, President, Fred A. & Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation
  • Lieutenant Colonel Greg Turner, Detroit District Commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Paul Spicer, Senior Vice President-Power Generation, WEC Energy Group
  • Chris Fralick, Chief Operating Officer of Renewable Generation Portfolio, Ontario Power Generation
  • Wim Dillen, International Development Manager, Port of Antwerp
  • Molly Flanagan, Vice President, Alliance for the Great Lakes
  • Peter Annin, Author of The Great Lakes Water Wars, and Director of the Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation, Northland College

The Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers unites the chief executives from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Québec and Wisconsin. The Governors and Premiers work as equal partners to grow the region’s $6 trillion economy and protect the world’s largest system of surface fresh water. This partnership builds upon over 30 years of work by the Council of Great Lakes Governors to encourage and facilitate environmentally responsible economic development.

Copies of all Resolutions adopted and announcements can be found