From Eric Sharp of the Detroit Free Press.
So while it won't hurt to make the usual New Year's resolutions about
losing weight and stopping smoking, why don't we all add this one: 2008
will be the year in which we see the Great Lakes provided with
meaningful and effective protection at all levels of government.
It's a resolution all Lakes lovers can endorse. To make it happen, we're going to have to be much more skillful about distinguishing between politicians and lobbyists who say they are "for" the Great Lakes, whatever that means, and those who do things to assure the Lakes are protected.
In the last three years, thanks to growing citizen concern, massive organizing efforts by the Healing our Waters Coalition, and a more attentive regional news media, awareness of what's threatening the Lakes and what needs to be done about them has peaked. It would be nice to think that we're on the threshold of seeing real controls on invasive species, real water conservation and protection against Great Lakes exports, and a start on the $20 billion Great Lakes restoration plan. But we're not there. The divide between politicians and the people, who are understandably cynical about the 'game,' has got to narrow fast. The Great Lakes are too important to be left to the politicians.