Great Lakes Coalition Names Todd Ambs as Director

ANN ARBOR, MICH (June 3, 2013) – The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition today named Todd Ambs as its new director. Ambs previously served as president of the national conservation group River Network, a job he assumed after serving as chief of the water division for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Todd Ambs is a champion of the Great Lakes and will help keep restoration efforts on track,” said Lynn McClure, Midwest Regional Director at the National Parks Conservation Association and co-chair of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “The Coalition will be in good hands under his leadership.”

Ambs assumes the reins of the 120-member Coalition at an important time: Over the last four years the federal government has invested more than $1.3 billion in restoration programs to restore habitat, clean up toxic pollution, combat invasive species and prevent runoff from cities and farms. Restoration programs are producing results—but there is more work to do.

I consider the Great Lakes home, and I’m excited about the opportunity to do my part to help protect and restore them,” said Todd Ambs. “I look forward to working with our Coalition members, partners and allies to make sure that restoration efforts don’t falter.”

Prior to his tenure at the Wisconsin DNR, Ambs served as executive director of the River Alliance of Wisconsin, a senior policy analyst at the Wisconsin Department of Justice, and executive director of Rivers Unlimited, based in Columbus, Ohio. During his career, he has also served as policy director in the Ohio attorney general’s office and assistant chief of public information and education at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Todd has dedicated his career to advancing strong conservation policy at the state and federal levels,” said Joel Brammeier, president and CEO of the Alliance for the Great Lakes and co-chair of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “Todd will help the Coalition maintain momentum for Great Lakes restoration in the halls of Congress and the White House.”

Ambs will be the Coalition’s second director. The Coalition’s first director, Jeff Skelding, announced that he was leaving in March to become executive director of the Friends of the Upper Delaware River.

Jeff did a phenomenal job leading and growing the Coalition for the past eight years,” said John Jackson, program director for Great Lakes United and co-chair of the Healing Our Waters Coalition. “Thanks to Jeff’s leadership, Great Lakes restoration has taken off, the Great Lakes are in much better shape than they would be otherwise, and our Coalition is healthy and thriving. I am confident that Todd will do a fine job of building on the strong foundation that Jeff has left.”

Ambs officially begins on July 1, working in Wisconsin as a team member of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center in Ann Arbor, Mich.

“We’re thrilled to work alongside Todd in this important work,” said Andy Buchsbaum, regional executive director for the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center. “Todd will fight tooth and nail for the Great Lakes and the people and wildlife who depend on them. We’re excited to work with him so that we can protect and restore the Great Lakes now and for generations to come.”

The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition consists of more than 120 environmental, conservation, outdoor recreation organizations, zoos, aquariums and museums representing millions of people, whose common goal is to restore and protect the Great Lakes. For more information visit or follow us on twitter @healthylakes.

CONTACT: Jordan Lubetkin, (734) 904-1589

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One Response to Great Lakes Coalition Names Todd Ambs as Director

  1. Paul Flansburg says:

    Jordan, Glad to hear that you approve! A friend of mine lives in Winona, on the Mississippi River; she says there is fracking all over the place there. I’d like Todd’s take on Fracking in the Midwest. Does he see that as a threat to the water supply there? How is Wisconson addressing those concerns in particular?