Diadra passed away peacefully on October 30, 2016 at her home in Inver Grove, Minnesota. She was a dedicated civic activist working on many environmental issues for over 30 years. Diadra was a founder of WaterLegacy, a grassroots organization committed to environmental health and environmental justice by protecting Minnesota’s fresh water resources and the communities that rely on them. As president of the organization from 2009-2015, Diadra led efforts to push for stronger laws and regulations at the federal and state level to protect Minnesota waters from sulfide mining pollution. Her involvement contributed to key accomplishments including, upholding a water quality standard to protect wild rice, collaboration with tribes, and increasing civic engagement on mining issues. Diadra’s dedication was inspiring to many people. She will be greatly missed.
Jim lost his battle with cancer on October 17 at his home in London, Ontario. Jim was a long-time board member and president of Great Lakes United (GLU) and environmental representative with the Canadian Auto Workers Union. He was a champion of zero discharge of persistent toxic substances (his favourite GLU t-shirt was the one that said “Zero means Zero”—a frustrated response to industries endless debates about what zero really meant). Special refinements that Jim added to these campaigns included the need to recognize that workers were the ones being most immediately and devastatingly affected by these chemicals in their workplaces, and, therefore, the need to unite worker activists and environmental activists in the campaigns, the need for “just transition” (ensuring that the financial and emotional harm to workers was minimized as we transitioned from an economy and society based not on toxic chemicals but on clean production and green chemistry), and extended producer responsibility. He was always quick with a smile and a story. Jim and his passion for water and the Great Lakes will be greatly missed.