Photo by Beth Price
During this season of gratitude, I give thanks to the life-sustaining Great Lakes waters. And I give thanks to all the peoples of this region who recognize their inherent value and stand up for these freshwater seas. It is our deep human connection to these waters and all life they support that will restore their long-term health and bounty for generations to come.
I give thanks to Jim Olson – our amazing founder and water law champion who had a vision to unify Great Lakes protection under the enduring and multigenerational ideas of the commons and public trust law. Thanks to Jim and his vision, FLOW seeks water justice, water security, and water protection for all through public trust law and science. What I love about FLOW is our clear and powerful message: because the navigable waters of the Great Lakes are held in trust for the public forever, we as citizens can hold our state and provincial governments accountable when they fail to protect the public interest. The Great Lakes belong to all of us.
I give thanks to our extraordinary FLOW staff, including Dave Dempsey, Nayt Boyt, Lauren Hucek, Kaitlyn Bunting, and Kelly Thayer, who just joined as Deputy Director in October of this year. I give thanks to our tireless interns, Julius Moss, Kirsten Nolet, and Bill Hershey, and our amazing volunteers. It is a joy to work with such passionate, dedicated, and brilliant people. Day in, day out, we bring our best selves ready for whatever comes. It’s hard yet rewarding work we love because it gives us meaning and purpose.
I give thanks to our dedicated and passionate board under the leadership of our Chair, Skip Pruss. Our board members recognize the nexus between Great Lakes protection, human health, sustainable communities, economic prosperity, and climate change impacts and resilience. Thank you for all you do, Skip Pruss, Mike Vickery, Gary Appel, Renee Huckle Mittelstaedt, Sarah Naperala, Rick Kane, Tom Baird, Emma Lui, JoAnne Cook, Keith Schneider, Royce Ragland, Bob Otwell, Mike Dettmer, Katie Horvath, Phil Ellis, and Kate Thornhill.
I give thanks to our passionate partners throughout the Great Lakes who believe that a rising tide lifts all boats. This is the way we can collectively protect what we love.
I give thanks to YOU. I give thanks for believing in our vision and our mission. By bringing back the health of the water cycle, we address climate change head on because the life cycle and the water cycle are one, as Jacques Cousteau once said. We simply couldn’t do the work without your support. Thank you during this Thanksgiving season.