Clean Water Program Works With Ohio’s Watershed Groups

Clean Water Program Works With Ohio’s Watershed Groups

By Keith Dimoff, Ohio Environmental Council

GLAHNF is pleased to introduce Keith Dimoff as our newest Advisory Panel Member representing Ohio. We’re excited to have Keith join us and look forward to working with him and adding his knowledge and experience to our Advisory Panel. Welcome, Keith, and thank you for volunteering your time and expertise!

Hi, I’m Keith Dimoff, Clean Water Program Manager for the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) and a new GLAHNF Advisory Panel Member. The OEC is very pleased to be a part of GLAHNF and to continue our work with Audubon Ohio—the GLAHNF Hub for Ohio—as well as the wonderful local watershed groups in Ohio’s Lake Erie Basin.

I was happy to be invited to join the GLAHNF Advisory Panel on behalf of OEC because I realized the close relationship between GLAHNF’s mission and our own mission for our Clean Water Program—to inform, unite, and empower citizens to take action to protect and restore Ohio’s wetlands, streams, rivers, and lakes. We also have been impressed over the years by the critical support that GLAHNF provides to grassroots groups.

As an Advisory Panel Member, I hope to be able to bring value to the network by sharing the many experiences that the OEC has had with Ohio’s watershed groups. As part of the OEC’s Clean Water Program, we provide conferences and one-to-one assistance to local groups on organizational development, technical, regulatory, and political issues. In our ongoing involvement with these groups, we see the challenges they face in dealing with the media, in building their memberships, in mounting successful campaigns, in choosing winning strategies. I know how dearly they hold their wetlands, streams, rivers, and lakes. I know how hard they try. And GLAHNF’s networking and funding aid is there for them. I will share with GLAHNF the valuable lessons that these people have taught to me over the years, and my expertise on watershed restoration plans, Clean Water Act requirements, and legislative initiatives, particularly in Ohio.

To tell you a little about myself, in my role as the OEC’s Clean Water Program Manager I direct all aspects of the OEC’s water quality campaigns, including local outreach activities and state-level policy and regulatory work. I love my job, and feel like it is a good fit for my experiences as an environmental engineer, a neighborhood activist, a state regulator (with the Ohio EPA’s hazardous waste enforcement program), and as a consultant for the OEC and other environmental groups on a variety of clean water projects.

Working at the OEC allows me to be a strong advocate while partnering with diverse interests in Ohio—sports and recreation enthusiasts, families, local environmentalists, family farm advocates, local and state government, and local, state, regional, and national environmental groups—to improve water quality policy for all Ohioans. It’s rewarding for me to see the OEC, in our role as a state council, use our grassroots, watershed constituency to put political pressure on state officials, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and other regulatory agencies to strengthen water pollution regulation laws.

If you’re ever in Columbus, Ohio, please stop on by the OEC offices. I’d love to introduce you to the OEC staff (we have eleven staff, an active board, over 120 group members and over 1600 individual members). In addition to our water quality campaigns, the OEC runs several programs throughout Ohio, including a Clean Air Campaign and a Factory Farm Enforcement Project, as well as many member-initiated efforts on environmental problems in Ohio. We also have an Environmental Justice Program, including outreach efforts on fish consumption advisories to environmental justice communities in the Lake Erie Basin.

I am quite honored to be able to serve on the GLAHNF Advisory Panel. I had the pleasure of attending the January 2002 GLAHNF Advisory Panel Annual meeting and was truly, truly impressed by the high quality of the attendees and by their commitment to protecting and restoring the ecological integrity of the Great Lakes. The Hub representatives, other Advisory Panel members, and staff all showed me that GLAHNF has the expertise and commitment to be a positive effective force in the Great Lakes environmental community.

To all of you who love the Great Lakes, I say thanks.

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