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Look a Golden Winged Ship is Passing My Way….

This first post of a series by Nate Drag of Great Lakes United covering the Healthy Lakes, Healthy Lives Boat Tour stop in Buffalo from June 4th-9th:
I spent a week in the Mojave Desert this past month. A friend of mine drove me to his house where I was staying. Through the eight lanes of traffic I watched countless sprinklers watering lawns in the desert. How could these residents be so unaware that they live in a desert? How could they be so unaware of the ecological crisis they are living within? Then I began to wonder whether the residents of Western New York were living in the same state of obvilion? Were we as clueless as the Las Vegas residents watering their grass lawns? If only there was a shining sign that would tell everyone that there are serious issues facing our natural and social worlds. A shining bright boat rising over the horizon to raise awareness of the challenges and opportunities that our Great Lakes communities face.
Fortunately for us, we have that moment. From June 4-9th, the Earth Voyager, the fastest sailing vessel on the Great Lakes, will be the first vessel to dock in the Commercial Slip in the Inner Harbour. This breath taking trimaran will be making its first port of call in Buffalo as it cruises through 14 ports across the Great Lakes on the Healthy Lakes, Healthy Lives Tour to bring attention to issues that have been ignored for too long. Continued industrial contamination, persistent invasive species, and failing sewage infrastructure need to be discussed by community members and elected officials throughout the region. Read more about the tour here.
In the past few years, increased legislative attention has begun for the Great Lakes. 2004 saw the signing of an Executive Order recognizing the Great Lakes as a national treasure. One year later, in response, a regional collaboration of elected officials, tribes, environmentalists, industries, and other produced the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy to Restore and Protect the Great Lakes. (www.glrc.us) It’s time to amplify the urgency for action for our Great Lakes.
The arrival of the Earth Voyager will begin a weekend of events aimed at reconnecting our residents with the water that sustains our economies, environment, and lives. In the upcoming weeks, Great Lakes United will provide postings and coverage of this momentous occasion for Buffalo and the Great Lakes. Be sure to check postings on specific events of the weekend, including community forums, paddle tours, and an educational expo, and interviews from crew of the vessel.

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