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Summit Seeks Combined Effort for Restoration of Waterways

June 12, 2009

New Orleans, LA - Conservation leaders from across the country are in New Orleans to push for the restoration of iconic U.S. waters, including the Great Lakes. Protection of the nation's waterways from threats such as global warming and invasive species will benefit the country’s economy and environment, according to attendees of the three-day summit that concludes today.

Larry Schweiger, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), says threats to the nation's waters impact people, businesses and communities.

"I think it's important that we restore the systems for ecological reasons as well as economic reasons. They bring jobs, they attract companies; they do a lot of really important things."

The nation's ecosystems are on the brink of collapse, says Schweiger, and they need to be targeted.

"For pollution clean-up, to restore wetlands, to improve water quality, and also to adapt to climate change, which is having an impact."

The summit is addressing the economic benefit of restoring the country’s aquatic ecosystems, the common threats to U.S. waters, and the political outlook for federal action from the U.S. Congress and the Obama Administration.

Tony Bruscato, Public News Service - MI