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E-M:/ Citizen's Guide to Protecting the Great Lakes




Melissa Damaschke, Sierra Club Great Lakes Representative (Michigan)

Office (313) 965-0055

Ashley Brenke, Sierra Club Great Lakes Representative (Wisconsin)

Office (608) 257-4994



Citizen’s Guide to Protecting the Great Lakes

Highlights stories of individuals around the region working to restore and protect the Great Lakes



Detroit, MI – Today, the Sierra Club Great Lakes Program released its “Citizen’s Guide to Protecting the Great Lakes.”  This guide identifies Great Lakes problems and solutions that individuals can implement to protect the Lakes.  It also highlights the major policy changes that state and federal governments need to make to ensure that future generations can use and enjoy the Lakes as we do today.


The Guide was inspired by the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy (GLRCS) – a comprehensive regional plan to protect our drinking water, economic future and way of life.  The Great Lakes hold one fifth of the world’s fresh surface water and currently provide drinking water to over 42 million people.  Yet each day, our Lakes are damaged economically and ecologically by untreated sewage, industrial pollutants and invasive species.  Sierra Club’s guide offers actions to reduce these threats and contains specific strategies people can use to protect the Lakes.


“While the Citizen’s Guide outlines steps for governments to take, it also details ways in which individuals can protect the Great Lakes themselves,” said Melissa Damaschke, Sierra Club Great Lakes Program Representative. “It details steps people can take in their own community, such as building a rain garden to allow for the collection and filtration of water.”


Sierra Club members across the Great Lakes region are taking steps to protect this vital resource.  Jeff Sytsma is a member of Sierra Club’s Southeast Gateway Group in Wisconsin and he has been leading the Group's efforts to install rain barrels in the Racine-Kenosha area.  Don Hughes and Italia Millan are active in the Auburn Hills, Michigan.  They don’t use any pesticides on their lawn in fear of it polluting the Clinton River and ultimately polluting the Great Lakes


In Toronto, Canada Lino Grima collects rain water in his rain barrels.  In Webster, New York Suku Menon installed a low-flow toilet to save water and money.  In Caledonia, Michigan Craig Ressler and Sue Norman installed a front-loading washing machine that saves them from using 7,000 gallons of water each year. 


This release kicks off a series of Sierra Club Great Lakes Program meetings and activities that will be held in the region throughout the year to highlight actions needed to protect and restore the Great Lakes.


More detailed stories and Sierra Club’s “Citizen’s Guide to Protecting the Great Lakes” can be found at www.sierraclub.org/greatlakes.





Melissa Damaschke

Sierra Club Great Lakes Representative

2727 Second Avenue, Room 318

Detroit, MI 48201

Phone:  (313) 965-0055

Website:  www.michigan.sierraclub.org


Together, we will keep the Great Lakes GREAT!