Without Lee, there would be no Freshwater Future. There might not be a Clean Water Act, either, or an Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, or any of the other Great Lakes institutions that comprise the life’s work of this 90-year-old environmental powerhouse.
The Great Lakes owe a lot to Lee. Over the last six decades, she’s helped to create dozens (hundreds?) of organizations—including Freshwater Future—working around the region at the grassroots level, the national level, and every level in between. Her leadership and her vision have helped foster collaboration and coordination among these groups, because Lee has keen insight for the issues that need to be addressed and the work it will take to address them.
Lee’s persistence has created a legacy of environmental protection and education. Her work has helped connect more than 30,000 students and teachers to the ecology and beauty of Indiana Dunes and Lake Michigan, fostered collaborations that have generated solutions to address toxic pollution around the lakes, and influenced policies at all levels—from the City of Chicago to the federal government.
Freshwater Future is honored to have collaborated with Lee and grateful for her contributions to our organization and the Great Lakes community. Lee Botts is a Freshwater Hero.