|Gov. Tony Evers today, at the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers (GSGP) 2023 Leadership Summit that is taking place now through October 15th in Cleveland, Ohio, announced Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer will be the next chair of the GSGP.|
“Serving as chair of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers these last four years has been an honor, and this experience has been invaluable to helping guide my work as governor to make protecting and preserving Wisconsin and our region’s vast and vital natural resources one of my administration’s very top priorities,” Gov. Evers. “I’m excited to announce Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer will be the next chair of the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers. Governor Whitmer has always been a great partner in our work together as governors and as members of the GSGP, and I am looking forward to her leadership and our continued work together protecting our Great Lakes.”
“The Great Lakes define us as Michiganders, shaping our state and supplying drinking water, recreation, and economic opportunity to hundreds of millions of people,” said Gov. Whitmer. “My administration has made historic investments to protect the Great Lakes from pollution, build climate resilient infrastructure, and maintain natural resources. The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers is at the forefront of grappling with the challenges we face in the region, from invasive species to the climate crisis. It is a unique honor to serve as chair, and I am excited to continue working to protect and preserve these waters for future generations.”
GSGP unites the chief executives from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Québec, and Wisconsin, and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The governors and premiers work as equal partners to grow the region’s $6 trillion economy and protect the world’s largest system of surface fresh water. Gov. Evers was first appointed chair of GSGP in 2019, and Wisconsin will remain an active member of the organization.
Building on his extensive work as governor to help ensure all Wisconsinites have access to clean, safe water and to support the Great Lakes Region, under Gov. Evers’ leadership, GSGP has worked diligently to reaffirm its commitment to bolstering the region’s prosperity and safeguarding valuable freshwater resources. Highlights of GSGP’s accomplishments include:
The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Maritime Initiative This initiative is designed to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the maritime transportation system, grow the regional economy, increase the internal movement of goods across the region, expand the movement of goods to and from foreign markets, and create jobs. Launched in 2013, this program is beginning its 10th year.
The Great Lakes Impact Investment Platform
This platform was created to promote environmentally sustainable economic growth in the Great Lakes states and provinces. This platform now features more than 50 projects and was recently awarded a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service.
The 100 Percent Great Lakes Fish Project The goal of this project is to demonstrate how 100 percent of commercially caught fish from the Great Lakes can be used for purposes beyond just food. The initial focus of this project is on whitefish, followed by other Great Lakes fish such as yellow perch, walleye, lake trout, and white sucker.
Great Lakes Cruising
In 2022, Great Lakes cruising set record-breaking tourism numbers in the region. GSGP also facilitated the creation of a four-port cruise customs solution and helped Cruise the Great Lakes, which is a marketing initiative led by GSGP, welcome two new cruise ships to the Great Lakes.
The Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force The Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force works to stop the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species into the Great Lakes St. Lawrence River Basin and protect the region’s $7 billion fishery. This task force is working to build partnerships and prevent the spread of more than 21 invasive species.
The International Trade Team This team, which manages a network of 16 shared international trade offices on behalf of its member states and provinces, completed more than 750 projects and led six trade missions in 2022-23. This effort received the U.S. President’s “E” Award for Export Service, the highest award available.
Water Management A notable milestone in GSGP’s water management efforts was the completion of the 2016-2020 comprehensive Cumulative Impact Assessment, which incorporated climate change impacts for the first time.
Additional information about GSGP can be found on their website here.