'Lessons, Successes, and Ideas for the Future' is topic of April 29 virtual climate change panel discussion

West Michigan Environmental Action Council and the Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club will host their fourth Community Conversations on Climate Change, a monthly series of virtual discussions on climate change - how it is affecting Muskegon County, and what can be done at the local level to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for future impacts.

“Lessons, Successes, and Ideas for the Future” is set 7 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, April 29.

The virtual discussion will be moderated by Dr. Alan Steinman, Allen and Helen Hunting Director and professor at the GVSU Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute.

Panelists include Greg Mund, retired from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, former chairman of the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly and former chairman of the White Lake Public Advisory Council; Dr. Rick Rediske, senior program manager and professor at GVSU Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute; Cynthia Price, former president of Muskegon Save Our Shoreline and co-founder of the Greater Grand Rapids Food Systems Council; and Kathy Evans, environmental program manager for the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission.

The focus of the panel will cover lessons learned from longtime Muskegon area leaders of environmental restoration and protection efforts, notable successes, and ideas for advancing climate change solutions at the community level.

According to one of the panel organizers, Renae Hesselink, vice president of sustainability for Nichols Paper, “Much has been done in the Muskegon area to clean up pollution from years past, and to move toward sustainability, meeting our economic goals without sacrificing the environment and public health. We have a good foundation for addressing climate change.”

Tanya Cabala, lakeshore outreach organizer for the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, says, “People in the Muskegon area rallied and have spent decades restoring Muskegon and White Lakes. Their dedication inspires me and gives me hope for doing the hard work of implementing climate change solutions, and finding ways to adapt to climate change impacts,” she says.

“The Muskegon area has shown resilience and dedication to environmental and sustainability work,” according to Sophie Stoepker, of the Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club. “Now it is time to take the lessons learned to lead on climate action” she says.

To learn more and register for the panel discussion, go to: CommunityConversationsApril202.eventbrite.com

West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) has been West Michigan’s preeminent resource for environmental education and advocacy since 1968, It is a non-profit, 501 (c3) organization uniquely positioned to respond to emerging issues and new threats to West Michigan’s natural and human ecologies, strategically focused on building sustainable communities and protecting water resources.

The Michigan Chapter of the Sierra Club began in 1967 and serves as the statewide voice for the national organization. The Chapter follows the national mission to “explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth.” With over 150,000 members in Michigan, the Chapter continues to work with members and volunteers on issues ranging from clean energy and environmental justice to protecting the Great Lakes and encouraging elected officials to have better environmental stewardship statewide. The Michigan Chapter is based in Lansing.

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