Chris Grubb takes new position at NWF,will continue as GLAHNF Lake Advisor
In lieu of an issue-specific column for this issue of GLAHNews, I am instead announcing that I have accepted a position with the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) Great Lakes Natural Resource Center. I am joining NWF as a Water Resources Coordinator focusing on the Great Lakes Charter Annex (“Annex 2001”), and on a campaign to restore the Great Lakes. While I will certainly miss the wonderful and talented staff at Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council – not to mention the beachcombing, snowshoeing, and fly fishing opportunities abundantly found near Petoskey – I am very excited about my new position at NWF, and look forward to continuing to work with grassroots groups as a GLAHNF Lake Advisor.
During my tenure as a policy associate at Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, I was fortunate to gain experience working on issues at a variety of geographic scales: from providing testimony on development proposals before local planning commissions to coordinating a statewide network of wetland advocates to writing a book of ecosystem restoration success stories across the Great Lakes. I am confident that these multiple scales of reference will serve me well as I make the transition to NWF and focus more specifically on basin-wide policy and advocacy.
I look forward to continuing to work with grassroots activists as GLAHNF Lake Advisor for the U.S. basin of Lake Huron. The watersheds of Michigan’s often overlooked “sunrise side” – from the 29 county Saginaw Bay watershed to the globally significant Cheboygan River watershed – are truly worth fighting to protect. I see great opportunity to redouble our efforts in this region, and encourage readers to contact me with project and proposal ideas.
Have we pulled the plug in Lake Huron?
According to a study released recently by W.F. Baird & Associates Coastal Engineers of Toronto, and commissioned by the Georgian Bay Association, Lakes Michigan and Huron have permanently lost a foot of water from erosion in the St. Clair River caused by dredging and other man-made causes. The Baird study puts the permanent loss of Lake Huron water at 845 million gallons per day.
Rob Nairn, a principal with Baird has said,“It’s like a drain hole at the bottom of a bathtub. The drain hole is getting bigger, and the water is going out faster. It’s something very alarming that no one has talked about or reported until now.” The U.S. and Canadian governments have taken notice. The International Joint Commission recently indicated in a press release that it would investigate the issue in an upcoming study of the Upper Great Lakes that could begin as soon as this Fall. Representative Candice Miller is also seeking funding through the reauthorization of the Water Resources Development Act for a follow up study. Visithttp://www.georgianbay.ca/index.html to learn more.
Advocacy opportunities for historic Great Lakes policy developments
This summer presents at least two important opportunities for Lake Huron advocates to have their voices heard. The Great Lakes Regional Collaboration – the interagency and multi-stakeholder group developing a comprehensive plan to protect and restore the Great Lakes – is expected to release its first draft document in early July. The draft release will be followed by a 45 day comment period as well as several as yet unannounced public hearings. Please visit www.restorethelakes.org to stay up to date on the Regional Collaboration and the Great Lakes restoration initiative.
Also this summer, the Great Lakes Governors and Premiers are expected to release for public comment a second draft of the Great Lakes Charter Annex 2001 – an interstate compact and bi-national agreement that addresses water diversions in the Great Lakes. After receiving over 10,000 comments following last summer’s release, there will likely be significant changes to the Annex. It will be equally important for grassroots advocates to weigh in on this second draft to ensure that control of Great Lakes water stays within the Great Lakes.
|Lake Huron – US Side Advisor
Chris Grubb,Water Resources Coordinator
National Wildlife Federation
Great Lakes Natural Resource Center
214 W. Liberty Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48103