Great Lakes Commission
Function: To promote the development, use, and conservation of the water resources of the Great Lakes Basin while securing and maintaining a balance among industrial, commercial, agricultural, water supply, residential, recreational, and other legitimate uses of the water resources of the basin. Conducts research and recommends policies, uniform laws, regulations, and agreements relating to such issues as navigation, port facilities, fishing, fisheries, floods and flood plains, lake levels, pollution, erosion, wildlife, and hydroelectric power.
The Great Lakes Commission was established in 1955 under the Great Lakes Basin Compact, an interstate compact that designated the commission as a joint statutory research and advisory agency on Great Lakes water resources development, utilization, conservation, programs, and problems for the eight states that border the lakes. The compact was initially signed by Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota (pursuant to Laws 1955 c691), and Wisconsin. Pennsylvania joined in 1956, New York in 1960, and Ohio in 1963. Congressional consent to the compact, required by the United States Constitution, was enacted in 1968 (Public Law 90-419).
The commission is composed of from three to five representatives of each member state, each state having three votes. Minnesota has five commissioners: two state senators, two state representatives, and one person appointed by the governor. Its headquarters office is in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Financial support derives from state appropriations. Annual or biennial reports are made to the governor and legislature in each state, in accordance with Article IV of the compact, and special reports are made as warranted. The commission acts as a producer and clearinghouse for information on matters important to the use, protection, and further development of the lakes; provides a mechanism for joint consideration of common and regional problems on the lakes; and coordinates state plans and promotes programs and policies at all levels of government. It cooperates closely with other state and federal agencies and commissions which administer or are concerned with Great Lakes water resources programs. The Minnesota delegation to the commission assists the port of Duluth, state agencies, and elected officials on matters of local interest. Public Law 90-419 also provided for commission membership on the federal-state Great Lakes Basin Commission, a planning coordination agency established in April, 1967, under provisions of the Water Resources Planning Act of 1965 (P.L. 89-80). (Source: Report to the States, 1971-1972.)
Minnesota, along with the other member states, pays dues to the Great Lakes Commission with funds appropriated through its state legislature.
5 members (1 members appointed by the governor, 2 senators and 2 representatives appointed by the legislature); no compensation.
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