Success Stories

Success Stories

Success Stories

We encourage readers to use Success Stories as a tool for your own aquatic habitat protection efforts. These stories provide an opportunity to network with the local citizens who worked diligently to complete projects to benefit habitats similar to those you are working on, by borrowing creative project ideas, and by finding inspiration from knowing there are so many dedicated, concerned citizens and grassroots groups working across the Great Lakes Basin to protect these vital resources. Free copies available for your work, e-mail: We also have a number of back issues of Success Stories we would be happy to send you.

Success Stories: Climate Change Adaptation







Reflow: Rainwater Harvesting

Clark Fork: Protecting the Local Economy from Climate Impacts

Elkford: Starting Climate Adaptation Where Community Concern Exist

Detroit: Bringing Stormwater Management down to the Neighborhood

Lake Champlain: Using Legal Tools to Protect Lakes and Rivers from Climate Impacts

Success Stories: Great Lakes Restoration

by David Syring






Hershey River Dam: Cycles in the life of a place

The Don River: Reawakening Community Engagement with the Commons

Whiskey Island: Restoring Cleveland’s only natural shoreline

Sugarloaf Cove: Seeing the forest for the trees

Transforming a community’s consciousness

Success Stories 2006/2007: Let It Rain: From Runoff to Renewal

Stories of Successful Stormwater Management Projects from the Field 2006/2007 Volume 6

Backing Into a Big Culvert Project
By Dorothy Lagerroos

Breaking Down Big-Box: Using Big-Box Ordinances and Stormwater Ordinances to Reduce Runoff from Large Retail Developments
By Brent Denzin

Saving Lake Simcoe: Ladies of the Lake Bring a Community to Action
By Annette Van Gerwen

Young Advocates Sow Rain Garden and Stormwater Awareness 
By Susan A. Smith and Sarah Galloway

Getting to Know Your Rain 
By Kevin Mercer and Jennifer Hounsell

Success Stories 2006/2007: Let It Rain: From Runoff to Renewal (pdf file)

Success Stories 2005

Elevating Pesticide Discussions and Actions
By Janet May, Pesticide Free Ontario – Great Lakes Basin

An Unforgettable Voice for the Environment
By Don McLean, Friends of Red Hill Valley – Lake Ontario Basin

Group Utilizes Communications Tools: A Victory for Water and Sustainable Agriculture
By Andrew C. Hanson, Midwest Environmental Advocates, Inc. – Lake Michigan Basin

Communications Unite Concerned Citizens
By Charles Lamb and Bill Rolland, Residents for Responsible Government – Lake Ontario Basin

Utilizing Unique Communications Strategies: Inviting New Members into the Environmental Community
By Craig Minowa, Earthology and the Organic Consumers Association – Focus on Lake Erie Basin

Communications Empower Citizens
By Jeff Brown, Minnesotans for Responsible Recreation – Lake Superior Basin

Affecting Change One Video at a Time
By Glenn Maxham, Save Lake Superior Association – Lake Superior Basin

Using Communications to Redefine the Issue ‘Weeds’ to Wetlands
By Terry Miller, Lone Tree Council – Lake Huron Basin

Creating a Consistent Strategy
By Winona LaDuke and Sarah Alexander, White Earth Land Recovery Project – Lake Superior Basin

Strong Communications Networks
By Mary Jo Cullen, Citizens Concerned for Michipicoten Bay – Lake Superior Basin

Success Stories 2005 PDF File which includes photos

Success Stories 2004

Landowners Protect and Enhance Water Resources
Bull Creek Stakeholders Association – Illinois

Fight to Save a Local Wetland
Bernacchi Wetland Legal Defense Fund – Indiana

Members Demonstrate On-the-Ground Strength
Citizen’s United For Action – Michigan

Preventing Off-Highway Vehicle Damage to Aquatic Habitats
Minnesotans for Responsible Recreation – Minnesota

Tried And True Methods Used To Protect Park
Friends and Neighbors of Seneca Park – New York

Saving Sheldons Marsh
Friends of Sheldon’s Marsh and the Ohio Environmental Council – Ohio

Effort Saves Prime Wetland From Development
Shoreline Stewardship Association of Cloud Bay & Little Trout Bay – Ontario

Broad Partnership Fights Invasive Wetland Invaders
Lake Erie – Allegheny Earth Force – Pennsylvania

Working to Stop Highway Expansion and Wetland Destruction
Highway J Citizens Group

Success Stories 2003

Saving a Prairie and Wetland Complex
Save the Prairie Society-Illinois

Searching for Bats in an Effort to Save Cedar Creek
ACRES Land Trust-Indiana

Monitoring Produces Dramatic Results
Mill Creek Volunteer Monitoring Project-Michigan

Building Coalition on Spirit Mountain
Written with Input from Cathy Podeszwa and Tim Larson of the Duluth Audubon Society, Nancy Nelson of the Skyline Planning and Preservation Alliance, and Jennifer Tahtinen of EAGLE-Minnesota

Members Provide On-The-Ground Strength
Cayuga Lake Watershed Network-New York

Flexibility, Collaboration, and Perseverance Save Edison Woods
Firelands Land Conservancy, Friends of Wetlands-Ohio

Groundwater Victory in Ontario
Grey Association for Better Planning-Ontario

Freddy the Fish Works to Increase Awareness of Toxic Fish 
Lake Erie Allegheny Earth Force-Pennsylvania

Land Use Forums in Bayfield and Ashland Counties lead to the Bad River Watershed Association
Bad River Watershed Association-Wisconsin

Success Stories 2002

Protecting Sensitive Areas on Waukegan Harbor Dunes
Waukegan Harbor Citizens’ Advisory Group-Illinois

Citizens’ Right to Know of Sewage in Local Streams
Improving Kids’ Environment-Indiana

Planned Growth in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
EUP Conservation Design Task Force-Michigan

Public Education to Protect A Fragile Peninsula
Friends of the Land of Keweenaw-Michigan

First International Wildlife Refuge Formed Due to Work of Grassroots Advocates
The Friends of the Detroit River, Inc.-Michigan

Surveying Species to Protect Spirit Mountain
(Duluth Chapter) Izaak Walton League

Building Coalitions to Protect Seneca Lake
Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association, Inc.-New York

Building a Better Watershed
Friends of Euclid Creek-Ohio

Educating and Collaborating to Protect a Unique Wildlife Corridor
Save Our Ravines-Ontario

Community Watchdogging on Lake Ontario
Environmental Bureau of Investigation/Lake Ontario Keeper-Ontario

Student Sleuths Discover Pollution Sources
Strong Vincent High School-Pennsylvania

Empowering Local Leaders
Midwest Environmental Advocates, Inc.-Wisconsin

Frogs in Your Backyard
Northeastern Wisconsin Audobon Society-Wisconsin

Success Stories 2001

Canandaigua Lake Watershed Community Involvement and Plan
Canandaigua Task Force-New York

Creation of a Watershed Action Plan for the North Branch of the Chicago River
Friends of the Chicago River-Illinois

Building Relationships Yields Cleaner Clean-up at Upper Michigan Mine
Lake Superior Alliance-Michigan

Cutting Around the Rules
Wildlands Leauge- Ontario

EcoSource-Linking Environmental Activists With Information
Environmental Association for Great Lakes Education (EAGLE)

River Friendly Farmer Program
St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative- Indiana

Protecting Humbug Marsh
Frinds of Detroit River- Michigan

Island Habitat Preservation
Kelleys Island Audubon Society- Ohio

Revitalizing Ravines
Lake Bluff Open Lands Association- Illinois

Reducing Polluted Runoff
Glinodo Earth Force- Pennsylvania

Protecting a Watershed
West Creek Preservation Committee- Ohio

160 Acres- A Lasting Legacy
Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve-Michigan

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