DIRECTOR’S NOTE: Opening Our Eyes

DIRECTOR’S NOTE: Opening Our Eyes

Jill Ryan,
Executive Director
19162_FWF_July2015 PROOF_Page_2_Image_0003This issue of Freshwater Voices on restoration has me thinking back to when all of this restoration work started. Before we could even come to grips with the fact that the Lakes had to be restored, we had to admit that they were not in good health—wetlands destroyed, pollution fouling water, sediments still full of toxins from decades gone by.

While many of us work to prevent such issues at the local level on a daily basis, ten years ago, when I (and I’m sure others) read, “Prescription for Great Lakes Ecosystem Protection and Restoration: Avoiding the Tipping Point of Irreversible Changes” I was shocked. Yet, at the same time, there was a freeing moment that allowed us to move into the work of both protecting and restoring our amazing water resources.

In your work you likely see similar situations, where a community has to face the issue head-on before it can begin the job of solving the problem. I hope this issue provides you with some inspiration and ideas about how you can move from ‘oh no, we have a problem’ to ‘here is how we are going to begin to solve our problem together.’

“The work of restoration cannot begin until a problem is fully faced.” –Dan B. Allender

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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.