Alan Steinman, director of Grand Valley’s Annis Water Resources Institute, recently attended a Summit on the Great Lakes at the White House.
The White House Summit on the Great Lakes Region took place on February 29 and included experts from many fields vital to the Great Lakes. Environmental, academic, business and civic leaders from throughout the Midwest participated. The briefing was an important chance for dialogue between Great Lakes area leaders and senior officials with the White House, along with the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality.
“It was an informative session but it did not address the issues from a scientific perspective, presumably by design,” Steinman said. “Nonetheless, it was useful to hear the Administration’s position on the Great Lakes, and their explicit support and appreciation for all the good work that is taking place in our region.”
Administration officials who spoke at the summit included Counselor to the President Pete Rouse, Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes and USDA Deputy Undersecretary for Natural Resources and Environment Ann Mills. The event focused on discussing the importance of community leadership in restoration of the Great Lakes.
Other topics the experts covered included business development, invasive species and nutrients in the lakes.
The White House issued a statement that said the summit “was another important step in advancing the partnership between the Administration and the dynamic community of leaders that has fostered success for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and its goal of a healthy environment and thriving economy for all Americans.”