October 15, 2013
Reid Bogert is a Coordinator in Shedd Aquarium’s Great Lakes and Sustainability programs, where he leads Great Lakes Action Days – opportunities to maintain trails, plant native flora and collect important data through citizen science projects. Reid spoke with us about how leading volunteers in the field illustrates the power of hands-on experience to spark an interest in the region’s wildlife and diverse ecosystems from dunes to prairies and forests. Reid shared his vision for more people engaged with the Great Lakes and our watershed, committed to preserving and celebrating its diversity as part of our lives. Learn more about Shedd’s Great Lakes program and upcoming Great Lakes Action Days here.
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October 9, 2013
Joel Brammeier is president and CEO of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, an organization of 22 professionals and more than 12,000 volunteers dedicated to protecting and restoring clean water, educating citizens and youth, and building a sustainable future for the Great Lakes. Joel has developed laws and regulations to prevent invasive species in several Great Lakes states and published a first-of-its kind report describing options for permanent separation of the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River. He also advises the state governors and provincial premiers on regional implementation of the Great Lakes Water Resources Compact. Joel spoke with us recently about the Great Lakes’ timelessness and global significance and described the need to fulfill a new identity for the region. Joel shared his vision of a “culture of water” where water is valued equally with other factors in economic development, education, transportation, and business decisions.
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October 7, 2013
Dr. Solomon David is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Shedd Aquarium’s Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research. His work focuses on migratory patterns of near shore fishes in Lake Michigan and the importance these migrations play in the Great Lakes ecosystem. Solomon spoke with us recently about how fish are a great indicator of overall ecosystem health and how migratory fish represent a connection between the lakes, rivers, and wetlands in the larger watershed. These upstream water bodies provide irreplaceable habitat for migratory fishes, and Solomon shared his 100-year vision for greater available habitat in waters that are home to diverse species as well as navigation and industry. Read more about Shedd Aquarium’s Great Lakes conservation research here.
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October 4, 2013
Lynn McClure is the Midwest Regional Director of the National Parks Conservation Association, an organization that works to protect the United States’ National Parks for current and future generations. As a lifelong resident of the Midwest, Lynn is passionate about the region’s parks and is continually inspired by the unique outdoor places around the Great Lakes. In addition to her leadership in the NPCA’s regional office, Lynn co-chairs the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition and is a close collaborator in the Great Lakes Century initiative. She spoke with us recently about the vision for a binational park that encompasses the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River basin and the challenges of bringing people together around a bigger regional identity. Follow @NPCA on Twitter to learn more about the National Parks Conservation Association’s work.
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October 1, 2013
Debra Shore was first elected to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago Board of Commissioners in 2006, and she was re-elected in 2012. Debra believes we have a chance to show that people can live in a sustainable and harmonious way in and around a living wilderness; that we can be caring stewards — not merely users and abusers of these natural resources; that the Chicago region can have both a sound economy and a healthy ecology. Among other initiatives in her second term, Debra is helping the MWRD reinvent itself as a “21st century resource recovery agency” that leverages the gas from the treatment process, biosolids, nutrients, and wastewater itself as valuable assets. She shared with us some ideas on how cities can conserve energy and water and described how the Great Lakes could become magnets for people and industry. Read more about Debra’s work at http://www.debrashore.org and follow her on Twitter at @debrashore.
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September 26, 2013
Kendra Fogarty is an international public policy expert who has advanced the Great Lakes region’s environmental and economic sustainability in a variety of capacities. Kendra is currently a sustainability consultant for clients in the Great Lakes region and a member of the regional leadership council for the National Parks Conservation Association. She was previously the President of the Israel Idonije Foundation and a strategic policy coordinator for the Canadian Consulate of Chicago, where she increased awareness of Canada as a co-steward of the Great Lakes ecologically and an integral partner economically. In this video, she shares some of the experiences that drive her work as a dedicated champion for the Great Lakes.
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September 12, 2013
Philip Willink, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Biologist at Shedd Aquarium’s Daniel P. Haerther Center for Conservation and Research. Philip helps lead Shedd’s Great Lakes initiative to build relationships with universities and government agencies, advancing the understanding of local waters, wildlife and habitats in order to protect them. Philip’s research on current and historic populations shows that Great Lakes ecosystems are highly dynamic, and he explains how we need to learn to let the lakes change alongside us and prepare for change in nature.
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September 9, 2013
Thank you to the editorial board of Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer for championing the Great Lakes Century call to vision! The editorial, published in conjunction with Friday’s panel, upholds the call for a long-term vision and coordinated planning. Read the full piece here.
We swim them. We drink them. We fish them.
We pollute them.
They are the Great Lakes but they are not the Go On Forever Lakes unless we work harder on keeping them Great.
What’s required is a sense of community urgency to do more to preserve these irreplaceable, 10,000-year-old liquid assets as a natural resource and key to our economic futures. Enter Phil Enquist, a Chicago architect, who has spent four years applying urban design principles to this freshwater ecosystem that floats a multi-billion-dollar fishing industry and hundreds of thousands of jobs
He wants to do more to get Great Lakes cities to address, together, the shared weaknesses that impact the lakes — such as antiquated sewer systems that spill raw waste into the drinking water of more than 30 million people, or, in the case of Chicago, that send Great Lakes wastewater down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico instead of back into the lakes….
Terry Schwarz, director of the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, describes it as a “call to action that reminds us as citizens of the Great Lakes basin we are part of a bigger community.”
David Beach, director of GreenCityBlueLake Institute, argues Enquist offers a framework that enables people to think “big” about the Great Lakes. “We have to break out of our laissez-faire attitude and realize that we are the custodians of the most amazing freshwater resource on the planet.”
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September 5, 2013
This Friday, September 6, Phil Enquist will present the Great Lakes Century vision in Cleveland as part of a panel discussion with several local and regional leaders. The presentation is free to attend and begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.
Check out an article by Steven Litt, Architectural Critic for the Plain Dealer and moderator of the panel, that gives details on the panel and an accompanying all-day Conservation Symposium:
Cleveland, which is vetting a new round of downtown lakefront development projects, likes to see itself as a city that thinks big.
Yet scale is relative. When it comes to thinking about the future of entire cities or regions, most Americans have a hard time seeing the big picture.
Chicago architect Phil Enquist has no such difficulties.
Over the past five years, as the lead partner in charge of urban design for the firm of Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Enquist has led a pro bono effort to create a century-long vision for the future of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River basins.
Read the full article here.
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September 4, 2013
Dave Ullrich, Executive Director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative, works with U.S. and Canadian mayors from across the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Basin to advance the protection and restoration of this resource. With over 100 mayors now participating, the Cities Initiative accelerates work to become a more sustainable region and to improve the quality of life and well being of its people. Prior to assuming his current position, Dave served for 30 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes regional office in Chicago, working on environmental issues in the six states of the upper Midwest. In this video, he speaks to value of cities organizing around common needs, exchanging ideas, and collaborating to advance a shared vision, such as connecting our region’s cities by high-speed rail.
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