Metropolitan Chambers of Commerce are often pragmatic advocates of environmental protection, as they see the local economic benefits of good environmental policy. The Business Agenda for Economic Transformation in the Great Lakes Region just released by a coalition of the major local Chambers of Commerce from the across the region (including the Detroit Regional Chamber) is an excellent example. The agenda identifies five Great Lakes regional economic public policy priorities for the next President and Congress. Included on this short priority list is freshwater protection, specifically:
"Renew and leverage the Great Lakes and our natural attributes to transform the economic region by supporting business development and research opportunities compatible with fresh water technology, and water-based development, while protecting and improving both the supply and the quality of water for use in our region without diversion. Complete the proposed Great Lakes Restoration plan now pending before Congress."
Candidates promising to make the economy a priority should look to the Chambers of Commerce agenda as a pragmatic example of how water protection can fuel regional economic growth.