Local government view of Great Lakes changes in areas further from the coast

 A mew report from the University of Michigan's Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) presents the opinions of Michigan local government leaders regarding the bonds – economic and otherwise – between their jurisdictions and the Great Lakes, their support or opposition to policies designed to protect the health of the Lakes, and their views on which level of government should be responsible for taking such action.


The full report is available on the CLOSUP homepage: http://closup.umich.edu.
 
The report’s key findings are summarized below:

• Nearly all (99%) of Michigan’s local leaders see the Great Lakes as a valuable economic resource for the state overall.

• A majority (58%) of local leaders also see the Lakes as an economic asset for their own jurisdiction, but these perceived economic bonds begin to weaken quickly as distance from the Lakes’ shorelines increases, even among jurisdictions located as near as 10 miles from the coast.

—Officials of jurisdictions along the lakeshore overwhelmingly (97%) see the Great Lakes as a local economic resource. However, beyond 40 miles inland, the majority (58%) of local officials disagree that there are valuable local economic benefits from the Lakes.

• Most (60%) local leaders think that their own jurisdiction’s policies and operations do not impact the health of the Great Lakes.

• Local leaders express significant support for policies and regulations to protect the health of the Great Lakes. Of 12 possible actions presented in the MPPS, a majority of local officials support strengthening or adopting 10 of them, even in some cases when there are specific costs involved. 

—The action gaining the highest support (85%) is strengthening regulations to limit water diversions from the Great Lakes.

—The only action with overall opposition (71%) from local leaders is increasing the cost of water for households and businesses to encourage consumers to use less water.

• Local leaders believe that state governments in the Great Lakes region should have the most responsibility for protecting the Lakes, followed in order by the federal governments of the U.S. and Canada, business/industry, individuals, and local governments.
 
The report’s findings are taken from the Fall 2013 Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS), wherein CLOSUP surveyed local government leaders from 1,353 jurisdictions (counties, cities, townships, and villages).

All MPPS reports are distributed to state and local government officials and other stakeholders, and they are widely cited in the media (see http://closup.umich.edu/michigan-public-policy-survey/mpps-news.php).

The CLOSUP website provides detailed tables of the data collected in all of the MPPS surveys.  The data are broken down by jurisdiction type, population size, and region of the state.  These easy-to-read tables allow quick analysis for a wide range of issues and are found at: http://closup.umich.edu/michigan-public-policy-survey/mpps-data-tables.php
 
The MPPS is conducted by CLOSUP in partnership with the Michigan Association of Counties, Michigan Municipal League, and Michigan Townships Association.

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