Peter Wege, founder of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, died on Monday at the age of 94. Wege, a Grand Rapids businessman, was a lifelong environmentalist and Great Lakes advocate. With his support and leadership, the Wege Foundation provided significant resources in 2004 to start the Coalition and unite the region around the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes. His support was instrumental in making Great Lakes restoration a national priority. Over the last five years, the federal government has invested more than $1.6 billion to restore a resource that more than 30 million people depend on for drinking water.
“On behalf of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition and our members, we wish to express our sorrow for the passing of Peter Wege,” said Todd Ambs, campaign director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “At the same time, it brings us great joy to celebrate the life of a man who was a strong voice for conservation – whose passion and commitment led directly to the betterment of the Great Lakes. His actions have benefited millions of people and will continue to do so well into the future.”
The Grand Rapids Press contains a thoughtful retrospective of Peter Wege’s life.