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GLIN==> GL Town Hall: Daniel Wendt of Great Lakes Country, + Atlanta's Hidden Reservoir essay

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This Week in Your Great Lakes Town Hall!





Guest Writer: Daniel Wendt, creator of Great Lakes Country


Featured Issue: Atlanta's Hidden Reservoir by Brenna Wanous








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Dear Great Lakes Neighbor,


Each week we invite grassroots activists, artists, officials, physicians, parents, young people and others to offer insightful commentary on their Great Lakes experiences and views. Of course, we also invite you to comment on their thoughts!


This week, the Town Hall is pleased to welcome Daniel Wendt, Great Lakes native and creator of the website and blog entitled Great Lakes Country. Come visit the Great Lakes Town Hall to read and respond to Daniel's stories and perspectives about the Great Lakes every day this week - only in the Great Lakes Town Hall!



DanielWendt160.jpgGuest Writer this week-- Daniel Wendt

Daniel Wendt spent 26 of the first 28 years of his life more or less in the Great Lakes watershed -- mostly Michigan, SW Ontario, and upstate New York.  During this time, he enjoyed looking for crawfish in the Red Cedar River, crossing the Ambassador Bridge, swimming in Lake St. Clair, catching perch in Lake Huron, birdwatching at the Pinnebog River, hiking Pictured Rocks lakeshore, camping at Beaver Lakes, spying waxwings in Seeny NWR, hunting for (and finding) morels in a non-disclosed location in Washtenaw County, kayaking Otisco Lake, swimming in Cayuga Lake, admiring Skaneatles Lake, being amazed by the Niagara hyrdo plants, watching the lakers ply the St. Clair River, eating pasties in Paradise (maybe not exactly in Paradise), visiting historic Fort Michilimackinaw, spending weekends in Toronto, Chicago and Cleveland, flyfishing in the Salmon River, climbing the dunes in northern Lake Michigan, pier jumping (which was still very legal then) in Holland, hiking in the Finger Lakes National Forest, watching an eagle at Pine Lake, studying colonial history, and much, much more.  In short, all the things that cause us to fall in the love with the Great Lakes.  As a teenager, he was particularly proud to have swam or waded in each of the five Great Lakes in one calendar year.

After 28 years, he moved to the metro DC area.  He wanted to stay connected to the region through more than the occasional visits to visit family that were always too short.  After 5 years of being away, he started www.greatlakescountry.com (or www.lakehugger.com), a website for people like him who love all the lakes and rivers in the Great Lakes region and who want to know something about just about everything happening across the region and who want to read about enjoying the land, water and air.  On the website, Dan specifically collects news from across the region on all sorts of topics, and sends out a weekly email highlighting news on the following topics:

(1) Restoration and Protection; (2) Water Levels, Control, and Uses; (3) Sewage, Runoff, Bacteria, etc.; (4) Energy; (5) Industry (especially shipping, refineries, steel, mining, and farms); (6) Fish and Wildlife; (7) Habitat and Land Use; (8) Other (Climate Change, Health, Landfills/Recycling, etc.); and (9) Recreation. 

Also in a spirit of fostering a pan-Great Lakes identity, Dan has sold shirts saying, "I Heart the Great Lakes" and "Lakehugger." And in the late summer, Dan conducted a survey of the top issues facing the Great Lakes, which received responses from 44 people (including 10 journalists) from across the region.  The initial results were published on Dan's blog, but Dan expects to publish a full report by the end of the year.  Dan also started publishing a monthly column in September, when he discussed "Shipwreck Swims in the Great Lakes."  His posts on the Great Lakes Town Hall will serve as his October column, and then he will be back at in November.  But he does this all as a night job, so nothing is ever perfectly on schedule. 

After starting in February 2008, Dan now sends his weekly email to about 70-80 people per week across the Great Lakes region, and the site gets more than several thousand hits per month.  And Dan has also sold about 30 or more shirts; so you might see a Lakehugger or Great Lakes Lover in Milwaukee, Chicago, Traverse City, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Bay City, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Syracuse, or elsewhere.  One of Dan's favorite moments was when the site was featured in the Michael Scott's column in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, but he enjoys just as much or more receiving emails from people who think the website is a worthwhile endeavor.   


Read and Respond to Daniel Wendt's essays in the Town Hall! 




Featured Issue this week - Atlanta's Hidden Reservoir

In addition to guest speakers, the Great Lakes Town Hall focuses on a new featured Great Lakes issue each week, provided by co-moderators Dave Dempsey, Gary Wilson, and Brenna Wanous. This week, Brenna writes about the recent study that shows Atlanta could conserve up to one third of their water by taking steps to fix leaking pipes and plumbing fixtures.  She writes,

"The idea of fixing something or replace a part on something is an oldie but a goodie.  This is one of basics to Conservation 101 – fix whatever is wasting the resource and use less."

Read Brenna's Featured Issue, and put in your two cents! 



Bringing you a better Great Lakes Town Hall!

We listened to all of the wonderful feedback from our 2007 survey and have taken your advice. We will be launching your new Town Hall this December. You can expect easier navigation, new features, all past postings and much, much more!

We are looking for sponsors to support the building of the new Town Hall. Here is a great opportunity for businesses to sponsor a good cause and see their logo on the front page of the Town Hall. Are you interested? Do you know someone who might be interested? If so, please contact Brenna Wanous at bwanous@biodiverse.org or 773-496-4020.  



Don't miss this great opportunity to read and comment on our featured issue - Atlanta's Hidden Reservoir - and the stories and perspectives of Daniel Wendt in the Great Lakes Town Hall all this week!

Guest speakers contribute content on a Great Lakes topic of their choice for five days. While there are basic rules of conduct, guest speakers are unedited and diverse views are welcome. If you are interested in serving as a guest speaker, please reply to this email. We encourage individuals of all ages, occupations, and opinions to participate in the conversation.

Your Great Lakes Neighbor,

brenna sig.jpg

Brenna Wanous
Great Lakes Town Hall Manager

Biodiversity Project's Great Lakes Town Hall

email: bwanous@biodiverse.org

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Great Lakes Town Hall
Biodiversity Project
4507 N. Ravenswood Ave.
Suite 106
Chicago, IL 60640


Brenna Wanous
Great Lakes Town Hall Manager

Biodiversity Project
4507 N. Ravenswood Ave.

Suite 106

Chicago, IL   60640

(work) 773-496-4020

(fax) 773-906-1303




Life. Nature. You. Make the Connection.