Lakeshore, Nonprofits, and Sustainability

Great Lakes director discusses 'water strategy'

July 10, 2014
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Great Lakes director discusses 'water strategy' at lakeshore
Jon Allan. Photo via wmsbf.org

The West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum will produce a luncheon on Monday that addresses regional and state water-quality initiatives.

The program will be held at the MSU Bioeconomy Institute in Holland from noon to 2 p.m.

State strategy

Jon Allan, director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, will speak about Michigan’s water strategy, which is being developed at the behest of Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

Snyder has tasked the state government of Michigan with creating a vision for how it will manage water quality and quantity in the near and not-so-near future.

The Office of the Great Lakes is spearheading this effort in partnership with several other state agencies, examining topics such as invasive species, water withdrawal, water quality and infrastructure, storm water, legacy pollution and restoration and coastal resilience, among other issues.

The water strategy aims to steer water-related policy in all forms for the next 30 years toward sustainable, beneficial use.

Allan has an extensive background in water quality work with the state of Michigan.

He served as advisor to the Great Lakes Compact negotiations, co-chaired Michigan’s Groundwater Conservation Advisory Council and the Water Resources Advisory Council that was tasked with formulating the state’s implementation of the Great Lakes Compact Agreement.

Allan served as chair of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s Environmental Quality Committee. He also served for a number of years as a member of the Environmental Advisory Council for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Allan recently completed his tenure as co-chair of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on State Parks and Recreation.

Lake Macatawa

Attendees will also be provided with updates on two West Michigan-specific initiatives during the program.

Travis Williams, executive director of the Outdoor Discover Center Macatawa Greenway, will provide an update on Project Clarity, an initiative to permanently clean, restore and maintain the waters of Lake Macatawa.

Water quality research in the Macatawa watershed led to the development of a comprehensive restoration plan that identified five key areas where to focus efforts that would make significant improvements in water quality.

Holland initiatives

The city of Holland has also launched a comprehensive 40-year energy plan to become a world-class leader in energy security, affordability, sustainability and efficiency.

As an important steward of the community’s energy assets, Holland Board of Public Works is developing a cleaner power generation source for Holland’s future.

Dave Koster, HBPW General Manager, will describe the initiatives and investments being made toward that goal.

He also will discuss the new Holland Energy Park, the quest to have it obtain the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s highest accreditation and how community engagement is guiding it to be far more than a new power plant.

Institute tour 

Tours of the MSU Bioeconomy Institute will also be available immediately after the meeting.  

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