HOW hosts Great Lakes Week reception at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Patty Birkholz, Director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, and Nicholas Occhipinti, Policy and Community Activism Director for the West Michigan Environmental Action Council

Nearly 500 Great Lakes Week participants gathered at the Detroit Institute of Arts Wednesday evening to relax after a long day of field trips and presentations. The reception, hosted by the Healing Our Waters – Great Lakes Coalition (HOW), included speeches from Lana Pollack, U.S. Chair of the International Joint Commission, Pierre Trépanier, Commissioner for the Canadian section of the International Joint Commission, Roy Norton, Consul General of Canada at Detroit, and John Jackson and Andy Buchsbaum, co-chairs of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition.

Beside the Detroit Industry fresco by the renowned muralist Diego Rivera, speakers focused on the binational nature of all Great Lakes restoration issues. They praised the successful collaboration among Canada and the United States in the past, and reiterated the need for the two countries to work together to protect and restore one of our most valuable and important resources – now and in the future.


NWF's Melinda Koslow, Ryan Peterson, and Amy Beyer of the Conservation Resource Alliance having a good time at the Detroit Institute of Arts. PHOTO/Celia Haven


The reception was a lovely way to end a day that included multiple conferences for the Great Lakes, a press conference with Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson, and a joint session among HOW, the EPA, the International Joint Commission, and the Areas of Concern Conference. It was invigorating to see so many people dedicated to one common goal: taking action to protect a valuable resource that we all need.






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