HR0298 93rd General Assembly


                                     LRB093 11559 HSS 14779 r

 1                          HOUSE RESOLUTION

 2        WHEREAS, The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway  is  one  of
 3    the  most  magnificent  natural  treasures  on Earth, holding
 4    nearly 20 percent of the  planet's  and  95  percent  of  the
 5    United States' fresh surface water supply; and

 6        WHEREAS,  The  nearly  40  million people who live in the
 7    Great Lakes Basin rely on its water for  drinking,  fish  for
 8    food, and revenue from international tourism; and

 9        WHEREAS, The Great Lakes have attracted a diverse base of
10    industry for national economic growth, including major global
11    centers for steel, paper, and automotive production; and

12        WHEREAS,  Lake  Michigan  is  the  only Great Lake wholly
13    within the United States,  with  63  miles  of  shoreline  in
14    Illinois; and

15        WHEREAS,   Lake   Michigan   is   a   major  tourist  and
16    recreational attraction in Illinois, including Illinois Beach
17    State Park, one of the most heavily visited public  parks  in
18    the country; Chicago's lakefront, which receives an estimated
19    60 million visits annually that contribute to the $14 billion
20    per  year  in  tourism expenditures in the city per year; and
21    numerous public beaches; and

22        WHEREAS, The region's waters have  undergone  decades  of
23    degradation, including high rates of wetland losses; and

24        WHEREAS,  There  are  more  than  1,500  fish consumption
25    advisories in the Great Lakes states, which  limit  the  type
26    and  amount  of  fish  that women and others can eat, because
27    toxic industrial chemicals continue to bioaccumulate  in  the
28    Great Lakes food chain; and

29        WHEREAS,  Bacteria  from  sewage  overflows  continue  to
30    restrict  swimming  and  other  forms of recreation that draw
                            -2-      LRB093 11559 HSS 14779 r
 1    millions of tourism dollars to Illinois per year; and

 2        WHEREAS, Twenty percent  of  the  Great  Lakes  shoreline
 3    remains polluted with toxic sediments; and

 4        WHEREAS,  Seventy percent of the water-purifying wetlands
 5    in the Great Lakes Basin have been destroyed by  development;
 6    and

 7        WHEREAS,  Invasive  species  threaten to damage the Great
 8    Lakes ecosystem by competing with native plants and  animals;
 9    and

10        WHEREAS,  The  Great  Lakes  are  home  to  more than 100
11    globally significant habitats that are imperiled and/or rare;
12    and

13        WHEREAS,  An  increasingly  thirsty  world  threatens  to
14    deplete the Great Lakes waters, of which only one percent  is
15    replenished each year by rainwater and snowmelt; and

16        WHEREAS, There are many other ecological threats that can
17    harm the economy, public health, and environment in the Great
18    Lakes Basin; therefore, be it

21    Congress  is urged to establish a Great Lakes Trust Fund that
22    will be utilized to assist in funding the restoration of  the
23    Great  Lakes ecosystems in order to provide a healthy natural
24    environment for people and wildlife, including safe  drinking
25    water, fish that are safe to eat, and quality natural habits;
26    a thriving economy, including tourism and commercial fishing;
27    and  ample  recreation  opportunities, including beaches that
28    are open for swimming; and be it further

29        RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be delivered  to
30    each  of the members of the Illinois delegation to the United
                            -3-      LRB093 11559 HSS 14779 r
 1    States Congress.