MIDLAND-Now that the state of Michigan has banned directional drilling, what's next for Great Lakes environmental protection?  In addition to figuring out how to deal with non-native nuisance species infesting the lakes, state and federal stewardship efforts will face the challenge of sewage overflows and working out the politics of water diversion.  Michigan and other states in the region must also fend off attempts by Congress and the federal government to seize control of the lakes.  In the meantime, an array of proposals for Great Lakes management have been offered by gubernatorial candidates competing to establish environmental credentials with an eye on the November elections.

On Wednesday, May 22, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy will present, as the May installment of its monthly Issues and Ideas luncheon, a panel discussion on these and other issues related to the Great Lakes.  The panel will feature state Sen. Ken Sikkema, R-31st district, chairman of the Great Lakes Conservation Task Force, which recently released its report, and Keith Schneider, program director for the Michigan Land Use Institute. The forum will be moderated by Diane Katz, Mackinac Center director of science, environment, and technology policy, who will challenge the conventional wisdom that government regulation always yields the greatest environmental benefits.

The luncheon will begin promptly at 12:00 noon in the Mackinac Room, on the 5th floor of the House Office Building, at 124 North Capitol, in Lansing.  Please make reservations by 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, by calling the Mackinac Center at (989) 631-0900.