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Great Lakes Restoration Tour Stops in Traverse City

July 21, 2008

Traverse City, MI - A sleek, fast 60-foot sailboat is completing a quick run from Chicago to the Straits of Mackinac this week. The "Earth Voyager" then sails to Traverse City, its latest stop on a tour of the Great Lakes.

The journey is being undertaken to promote projects to restore and protect the lakes. Ed Wolking, Jr., executive director of the Detroit Regional Chamber, says business leaders throughout the region recognize the importance of the mission.

"Rejuvenation of the Great Lakes is seen by a number of the metropolitan chambers as being key to the future of our region, a very important investment."

Petitions are being circulated at each stop on the tour, asking presidential candidates to support investing $20 billion over the next five years on Great Lakes projects, although the idea is opposed by some because of its cost.
Wolking says even if the hoped for $20 billion is approved for the proposed Great Lakes restoration plan, no one should think the work will be over.

"This is a continuous process that we must stay with, year after year, after year."

The boat tour is being sponsored by the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition (www.healthylakes.org) It also will make stops in Milwaukee and Cleveland.

Jim Mishler/Steve Powers, Public News Service - MI