Bringing the Great Lakes Home

NWF   |   December 2, 2011

Jennifer Hill serves as the Great Lakes Restoration Field Manager in the Great Lakes Natural Resource Center of the National Wildlife Federation. 

Lake Huron
My favorite place on the Great Lakes: East Tawas, MI on Lake Huron. Photo: ABHeller

I’ve Chosen My Cause, What’s Yours?

Yesterday, I was able to bring a little piece of the Great Lakes into my home. As a new homeowner, I wanted something that I could look at every day to remind me of my experiences on the lakes. You see, I have spent most of my summers on Lake Huron. It’s where I saw my first bald eagle, developed a healthy respect for nature, and where I met my husband.

Working to Restore the Great Lakes 

Here at NWF, I serve as the Field Manager for our Great Lakes Restoration campaign based in our Great Lakes Natural Resource Center. I spend my days immersed in phone calls, emails, and documents to constantly make the case for robust federal and local investment in Great Lakes restoration.

On a recent work trip to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory I was given a navigational chart showing the entire Great Lakes basin.  I decided to have it framed and last night we hung it on the wall in our living room. When I look at that map of the Great Lakes, I see the sandy spit of Lake Huron beach I grew up on, where I spent countless hours in the frigid water riding waves with my brothers.  I’m also reminded of why I go to work every day to do my part to restore such an awe inspiring resource.

NOAA Chart of Great Lakes Basin. Photo: JHill

That’s what I see when I look at a map of the Great Lakes, but what do you see?

Favorite Great Lakes Spots

Maybe a rocky shore along Lake Michigan, dense woods in the Upper Peninsula along Lake Superior, or Cleveland’s skyline from Lake Erie. Whichever place comes to mind when you think of the Great Lakes, they are all facing similar threats; from sewer overflows, to wetland and habitat loss, to invasive species invading the Lakes, all of these problems must be addressed to improve the health of the Lakes for future generations of people and wildlife.

Choose Your Cause

Fortunately, National Wildlife Federation has a cool new feature on its website where you can Choose Your Cause, allowing you to dictate how the dollars you donate to NWF will be used. If you love the Great Lakes as I do, check out the Asian carp feature of the Choose Your Cause site. Asian carp are knocking on the door of the Great Lakes, and only with the constant vigilance of groups like NWF will we succeed in a permanent solution to keep them out of our beloved Lakes. Your dollars will go toward our campaign to slam the door on Asian carp and help maintain and restore the health of your own little spot on the Great Lakes, wherever it may be.