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Richard Maltby, 09/28/06, Letter to the editor, Saginaw News

Great Lakes at crossroads

The Associated Press recently reported that state and local officials have sought support recently for an extensive Great Lakes cleanup plan pending in Congress, warning that the ecosystems could be facing a dangerous "tipping point" that could hinder future restoration.

It also was reported that a House panel heard from government and academic experts on the restoration plan for the Great Lakes developed by a variety of stakeholders hoping to reduce the threat of invasive species, restore fish and wildlife and improve water quality. Some of the panelists said the lakes, which contain 95 percent of the United States' freshwater supply, were showing symptoms of stress from toxic chemicals, invasive species and excess nutrients that could overwhelm the waters.

The Great Lakes cleanup initiative should give the Dow Chemical Co. added incentive to join the Great Lakes states in their initiative and to rid the Tittabawassee and Saginaw rivers and Saginaw Bay of their dioxin contaminants. The Associated Press article also said, "Using the plan developed by the stakeholders last year, several lawmakers representing Great Lakes states have backed a

$20 billion measure to restore the lakes, hoping for an initial $300 million to address pressing needs involving invasive species, the health of coastal areas, and pollutants."

In view of this, we should all join in support of the Great Lakes initiative and rid the Saginaw Bay and its tributary waters of dioxin and other pollutants.

Richard A. Maltby

Midland

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