Save the Dunes

Save the Dunes attends 2014 Great Lakes conference

This week Save the Dunes staff and board traveled to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the 2014 Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition conference. At this conference we had a chance to learn about the projects that partner organizations across the Great Lakes basin are working on in their communities and strategize ways for this community of Great Lakes-based organizations to continue to protect this invaluable resource.

Each year the Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition brings together a diverse group of more than 400 people from throughout the Great Lakes region to attend the Great Lakes Restoration Conference. The conference provides a 3-day forum for participants to learn about important Great Lakes Restoration issues, network at the largest annual gathering of Great Lakes supporters and activists, and develop strategies to advance federal, regional and local restoration goals. This year was the 10 year anniversary for this conference.

Central themes of this year’s conference included threats to water quality in the Great Lakes such as microbeads and harmful algal blooms, the impacts of fossil fuel extraction and transportation in and surrounding the Great Lakes, climate resiliency in Great Lakes communities, conservation and restoration efforts in the basin, preventing and controlling aquatic invasive species, and the importance of the Clean Water Act- specifically the Waters of the US rule. To check out the full agenda for the conference, click here.

Also at the conference, it was announced that Nicole Barker, Save the Dunes’ Executive Director, has been chosen as a co-chair of the Healing Our Waters Coalition. As always, we are so excited to have Indiana’s interests represented in this important coalition of organizations, agencies, universities, and businesses working to protect and restore the Great Lakes.

To see video footage of the conference, click here.

At an informational session on the Great Lakes Compact, the piece of policy that regulates water use and bans the diversion of Great Lakes water out of the basin, Nicole Barker represented the applicant in a mock diversion proposal. This simulation helped clarify the decision making processes for reviewing a diversion application under the Great Lakes Compact.
Executive Director Nicole Barker and board members Ryan Strode and Tom Conway at the reception at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. What a beautiful city!