Cooper named to Great Lakes board 0
The Great Lakes has the bluest water on the planet.
Canadian astronaut Julie Payette’s unique vantage point of Earth, presented at the recent meeting of the Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, is one that Collingwood’s mayor Sandra Cooper has taken to heart, as she starts a term on the GLSLCI board of directors.
Cooper was in Quebec City at the end of June for the annual general meeting of the organization, which represents 90 municipalities and 15 million people on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border, and works with the federal, state and provincial governments on the protection of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
“(Payette) was saying how blue the Great Lakes are, in comparison to other bodies of water, and how clean it looked,” said Cooper.
Collingwood is one of the founding municipalities of the GLSLCI, created in 2004. The organization has focused on invasive species, mercury, water levels, and sewage outflow.
Along with resolutions this year dealing with invasive species such as Asian carp and lamprey eels, the board also passed a resolution with regard to shale gas, and insuring the upper levels of government on both sides of the border put in place controls to lessen the impact of shale gas recovery on water.
The mayors also passed a ‘declaration on water sustainability’, and committed to common, sustainable water management practices to protect the lakes and the river, considered the largest source of surface fresh water on the planet.
“Meeting with Canadian and American mayors who share my commitment to protecting and promoting the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence region has been truly inspiring,” said Cooper. “By learning from the experience of other mayors and exchanging best practices, I will come back… with fresh ideas and renewed enthusiasm on protecting our precious water resources.
“Although there are both large cities and smaller municipalities, we have one commonality and that is the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, and shared water stewardship.”
Cooper says Collingwood’s experience has much to offer the organization. For instance, the optimization work that has taken place for the sewage treatment plant, and separating the stormwater management system from the sewage system. Also, that Collingwood is one of three municipalities — out of a list of more than 40 — that have been ‘delisted’ by the International Joint Commission as an area of concern.