In this issue we not only invite new grassroots groups and citizens to join our network and readership, we also highlight some unique collaborations that have been utilized for the benefit of aquatic habitats. Hearing such positive stories of working together reminds me that opening ourselves and our organizations to such opportunities can have many benefits for both our work and the resources we are trying to protect.
While collaborative efforts initially may seem to be more time and work intensive than simply completing the project on your own, my experience has been that the initial investments are far outweighed by the long-term benefits of the collaborations. These benefits include pooled resources, new ideas, and resource sharing. Additionally, I always find that a great deal of positive energy is generated from the new working relationships and ideas that result from joining together to accomplish a project.
The Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Network and Fund attempts to provide information and assistance about aquatic habitat projects and issues across the Great Lakes Basin so that citizens and grassroots groups can find project ideas, expertise, information, and other groups doing similar work. We hope you utilize these tools to create some innovative collaborations. In addition to this newsletter, we provide financial resources through our grants program (www.glhabitat.org), consultation through our network hubs (see list on back cover), and we are developing a new Internet-based directory (www.GreatLakesDirectory.org). To receive more information about any of these programs, visit our website at www.glhabitat.org or call Jill at (231) 347-1181.
As you consider how to increase the effectiveness of your group in its next project, I hope you will use some of these tools to find out what other groups have done in similar situations, to find organizations that you may be able to collaborate with, or just to remind yourselves that you are not alone; there are many of us out there working to protect water resources in our own communities.