STATEHOUSE (Sept. 6, 2019) – This year, Hoosiers will celebrate Sept. 7 as Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Appreciation Day in Indiana, said State Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso).
During the 2019 legislative session, Charbonneau authored Senate Concurrent Resolution 45 urging Gov. Holcomb to set aside a day to recognize the importance of the Great Lakes system, which includes Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan, Lake Ontario, Lake Superior and the St. Lawrence River.
These bodies and channels of water are globally significant natural resources and ecosystems, holding 21% of the world’s surface freshwater, providing drinking water to more than 48 million Americans and Canadians, and supplying 56 billion gallons of water each day.
Lake Michigan is of great economic value to the Hoosier state, with the waterborne shipping industry contributing $14 billion per year to the state’s economy and creating over 100,000 jobs. Additionally, Lake Michigan offers recreational boating opportunities that provide over $2 billion annually to the economy.
Lake Michigan also contributes greatly to Indiana’s tourism industry, with 2 million annual visitors to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and 1.2 million visitors to Indiana Dunes National Park.
“The Great Lakes system is fundamental to our state’s quality of life and vital to ensuring Hoosiers have access to clean, healthy water,” Charbonneau said. “Lake Michigan holds great ecological and economic significance for Indiana, and I hope the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Appreciation Day will increase awareness of the necessity to preserve this important natural resource.”
Gov. Holcomb proclaimed Sept. 7 as Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Appreciation Day because it was on this day in 2012 when the United States and Canada reaffirmed their commitment to binational cooperation through the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. This agreement aims to restore, protect and enhance the water quality of the Great Lakes to promote the ecological health of the Great Lakes Basin.
For more information on the Great Lakes Basin and its preservation, click here.
For a high-resolution photo of Charbonneau, click here.