November 8, 2000
Dear [SAL. L_NAME]:
The Great Lakes Commission, in partnership with U.S. EPA, Great Lakes National Program Office, Environment Canada, the National Water Quality Monitoring Council, and the Lake Michigan Monitoring Coordination Council, invite your sponsorship of and participation in a binational conference to assess and promote ecosystem monitoring in the Great Lakes.
There is a growing need for a conference within the Great Lakes basin to bring together stakeholders to discuss a wide range of monitoring issues. The steering committee of the National Water Quality Monitoring Council recently expressed its support for regional monitoring conferences to be held in the years between its biennial national conferences. With the next national conference scheduled for Madison, WI in the spring of 2002, there is an opportunity to conduct a Great Lakes basin conference in the in the fall of 2001 that would enhance the dialogue at the national conference.
The ultimate goal of the Great Lakes conference will be to examine the state of monitoring in the basin and determine what steps are needed to effectively support SOLEC indicator tracking. This regional conference would address a number of issues and focus on efforts to establish greater monitoring collaboration and information exchange. A number of on-going programs could provide a foundation for discussions. These initiatives would include SOLEC indicator development, National Water Quality Assessments - Western Lake Michigan Drainages study area, the Lake Michigan Mass Balance Program, monitoring coordination in the Lake Michigan basin and along the Huron-Erie connecting channel, and coordination of volunteer monitoring, among other efforts. Please see the enclosed proposal for more details.
We would like to begin planning this regional monitoring conference for the fall of 2001. At this time, we would like to establish a core group of agencies to provide modest funding and serve on a steering committee. The above partners have already agreed to serve on a steering committee and provide modest financial support.
Please contact our project manager Ric Lawson if your organization would be interested in providing either the planning or financial support needed to make a Great Lakes Monitoring Conference a reality. You can reach Ric either by phone (734.665.9135) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your involvement or if you would like more information about planning for the conference.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Dr. Michael J. Donahue