|Next Step for Great Lakes Recreational Boating Study|
Governor Paterson has asked me to respond to your letter regarding the Great Lakes Recreational Boating Study.
I commend you for your exuberance in promoting recreational boating and its inherent value to the economy and social values of our nation’s Great Lakes region, and I appreciate your desire for accurate information. Effective public education and political advocacy should certainly be based on the most current and accurate information possible. It is unfortunate the Study’s report did not meet your expectations.
In this time of staggering budget deficits, economic uncertainties and resource constraints, we need to collectively exert our energies in looking forward and creating a new and bolder vision for the Great Lakes region—one in which recreational boating serves an increasingly important role. I believe, rather than looking back to criticize elements of a single report, as you have suggested, we should focus on how to continue moving forward, using the essence of this study as one of a growing number of resources needed to mold public opinion and future political action.
I encourage you to share your ideas with the Great Lakes Commission on how the recreational boating community, Great Lakes states and our federal government can work together to pursue a future vision for recreational and economic opportunity while protecting the unique natural resources of the Great Lakes Basin.