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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 18, 2004

Statement by the President

The Great Lakes are a national treasure that represents 20 percent of the world's fresh water. The Great Lakes region is an economic engine and recreational haven, and we are making great progress in protecting and restoring this vital natural resource.

To build on that progress, today I am establishing the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force, chaired by EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt. The Task Force will address environmental and natural resource issues of national concern and better coordinate the region's sustainable development and restoration. It will harness the collective efforts of the Federal government, Governors, Mayors, Members of Congress, tribes, and citizen stewards to ensure that the greatness of the lakes endures for generations. The Task Force will also consult with the Government of Canada on the most effective way forward on addressing past and current environmental impacts to the Great Lakes ecology.


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