Citizens Concerned for Michipicoten Bay, a citizens group inWawa, Canada, is working to protect eastern Lake Superior coastal habitat from a proposed quarry. Another citizens group, Root River Council, is developing a plan to revitalize the Root River in the City of Racine, Wisconsin. The citizens group, Anishinabek of the Gitchi Gami near Thunder Bay, Ontario is drafting a vision for the protection and sustainable use of the Fort William First Nation’s water resources. The Niagara River Area Property Owners Group is taking steps to protect a “provincially significant wetland” in the Lake Erie region.
These groups have at least two things in common–1) they are small grassroots efforts working to protect the waters of the Great Lakes; and 2) they have received financial and/or technical support from Freshwater Future.
Perhaps your citizen-led effort received funding from us in past years–or you’re interested in applying for funding. Freshwater Future is here to help, as a powerful resource investing in the people and communities for our Great Lakes.
“Our board recognized the need to more clearly communicate through a new name the critical role our organization plays in community efforts to preserve the freshwater seas. Our new name better reflects the work that we are doing to protect the Great Lakes and recognizes the importance of freshwater issues.” stated Jill Ryan, Executive Director.
A new logo accompanies the new name and visually captures the human connection to Great Lakes waters, and symbolizes the hope that each day brings for the future of this global treasure. Freshwater Future also has a new membership program– providing more ways for you to engage with our programswhile helping to support us financially.
Great Lakes neighbors care deeply about their towns andwaters. The Great Lakes are more than a resource in our backyard–they are a global treasure for the entire world. “We are inviting any one who cares about the Great Lakes and wants to help local communities improve their corner of the Great Lakes to become a member of Freshwater Future,” added Ryan.
The list of membership benefits is long (newsletters, discounts for events, special “Action Alerts,” recognition) but perhaps the most valued benefit is the satisfaction of knowing you are helping to preserve and protect a global treasure.
There are many other new things happening at Freshwater Future–we hope you will be just as excited about them as we are. Following are highlights about our grants program, our new Advocate Mentor Program, and plans for the 5th Annual Grassroots Symposium.
Grants: Freshwater Future offers financial support to advocacy activities that strengthen the role of individuals and community groups working locally to protect and restore shorelines, inland lakes, rivers, wetlands, and other aquatic habitats in the Great Lakes Basin. The Request for Proposals (RFP) and application form have been changed, so please be sure to visit www.freshwaterfuture.org for additional information. If you have any questions, contact Gina Middaugh at (231) 348-8200.
Advocate Mentor Program: One of the biggest strengths of Freshwater Future is the connection we have to skilled grassroots advocates and citizens. This May, we will launch the Advocate Mentor Program to share these connections with others. The Advocate Mentor Program will link each of our 2008 grant recipients with an experienced environmental advocate. The Advocate Mentor Program is designed to foster new relationships, share skills and experience, and provide inspiration. For more information about the Advocate Mentor Program, contact Kate Duggan at (231) 348-8200. The program will be kicked-off at our 5th Annual Grassroots Symposium.
5th Annual Grassroots Symposium: Please join us May 2, 2008 at the Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron, Ohio to learn, network, have fun and be inspired. You may register for the Symposium at www.freshwaterfuture.org In addition, Symposium attendees are encouraged to stay the weekend and attend River Network’s River Rally. Limited scholarship opportunities for the Symposium and River Rally are available. Please call Kate at (231)348-8200 for details.
Please join us as a member, a grant applicant, a symposium participant–so we can work together to build a bright and healthy future for our waters and the Great Lakes.