The U.S. Coast Guard has announced its plan to turn the Great Lakes into the world's largest freshwater firing range. They are installing machine guns on their boats, and want to set aside 34 sites on all of the lakes to use for live ammunition target practice. If the Coast Guard goes ahead with its plan, they will shoot more than 6,000 pounds of toxic lead into the lakes each year.

The Coast Guard will hold a public hearing on this issue this Monday, October 23 at the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building, 31st Floor Auditorium, 1240 E. 9th Street, Cleveland, Ohio. This hearing is the only one that will be held in your area. It is very important that there be a large number of people at the hearing to voice opposition to the plan.

The hearing begins at 5:30 p.m. and everyone who shows up will be given 2-3 minutes to speak. The Coast Guard will not answer questions at the hearing; they will only listen, and whatever is said becomes part of the official record. At 4:00 the Coast Guard will hold what they call an open house, at the same location, so people can come and find out about their plan.

More information can be found at At that website you will find an online petition that you can sign, Frequently Asked Questions that will discuss the plan, and a link to the Coast Guard's official website on this issue.

Our group is working with people and organizations all around the Great Lakes to mobilize people to come to the hearings. Please plan on attending the hearing, and spread the word so there will be a good turnout. We will only get one chance to protect the lakes from this terrible threat.