Ask State Senators to Protect the Great Lakes

It’s time to tell New York State senators that the Great Lakes matter to you.

Ask our state senators to protect the Lakes by ratifying the Great Lakes Compact to limit water exports from the Basin.

Click here to take action now.


The Great Lakes are one of New York ’s most precious natural resources. Home to the world’s single largest source of fresh surface water, they represent 95% of the fresh surface water in the U.S. Great Lakes water is a critical resource for New York , providing drinking water to millions, hydroelectric energy and power to countless households, and jobs and dollars to New Yorkers by way of industrial and agricultural uses, navigation, recreation and tourism.


Thanks to your help earlier this year, the Assembly passed the Compact unanimously. 

Now it’s the Senate’s turn to step up.   

Click here to contact senators.


Rob Moore

Executive Director

Environmental Advocates of New York 


 Send a letter to the following decision maker(s):
Senator Carl Marcellino
Senator George Maziarz

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Protect the Great Lakes by Ratifying the Great Lakes Compact

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

As a member of Environmental Advocates of New York, I am writing to thank you for sponsoring legislation to ratify the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact (Senate Bill 8187, hereafter the Compact). This landmark legislation will put in place a uniform system for regulating water withdrawals throughout the eight-state watershed of the Great Lakes.

In June of this year the Compact was passed by the New York State Assembly. I urge you to work for passage of the Compact in the Senate before the close of this legislative session. If not passed by the end of 2006, the legislation will have to start all over again next year, unnecessarily delaying New York’s ratification for months.

It is important that New York ratify this agreement. As the state at the bottom of the Great Lakes watershed, we inherit the problems caused by large upstream water withdrawals. Large upstream withdrawals could lower water levels in Lakes Erie and Ontario, the primary water supply for more than one million New York residents. Local tourism and the outdoor recreation industry are also reliant on stable lake levels. Our industries, and our hydropower production, would also be negatively impacted by lower lake levels. By ratifying the Compact before the end of 2006, New York will protect its uses of the Great Lakes and set the example for the other states to follow.

The Compact has been negotiated for many years by representatives of municipalities, industry groups, tribal representatives, agricultural interests, and environmental organizations. It represents the consensus of diverse interests, including the Great Lakes Chemical Industry Council to groups like Audubon and Environmental Advocates of New York–and the eight Great Lakes governors. Here in New York, there is no opposition to its ratification. We hope the Senate will allow the Compact to be voted on before the official close of the 2005-2006 legislative session.


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What’s At Stake:
The Great Lakes are one of New York ’s most precious natural resources. If NYS senators act soon, New York will be the first Great Lakes State to ratify the Compact.

Eight states and two Canadian provinces must ratify this landmark international agreement before it becomes law.  Once it goes into effect, Great Lakes waters will be protected from wasteful withdrawals.   

Why New York needs the Great Lakes Compact:

An increasing body of scientific evidence points to water scarcity as an issue of increasing concern. Growing threats in the form of harmful exports and diversions of water out of the Great Lakes Basin , and overuse and mismanagement of water within it, spurred the development of the Compact, which includes eight U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.


In 2005, the governors and premiers released two proposed agreements, a “Compact” between the eight states that will be approved by Congress and enforceable in federal court, and a voluntary international agreement between the states and provinces that would provide consistency across the Basin. Together, the two agreements will jointly manage diversions and large water uses and create uniform standards to manage all water takings. 

Please tell a friend about this campaign to urge New York’s senators to protect the Great Lakes and ratify the Great Lakes Compact.  For more information, visit

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