50 years of environmental action
There is a beauty in our dunelands, the banks of our rivers, the streams that run through our cities. But this beauty reveals its truest form in the people that are willing to protect it, using their energy and passion for creating change in our communities and ensuring stability in our natural resources. That passion has been seen for 50 years since WMEAC first organized to protect our rivers and streams from pesticides like DDT, and led the efforts to push for the Environmental Protection Act. It is seen today as we continue our work to protect our globally unique dunelands, as we use our communities’ hands to clean our rivers, and teach our young people about how to protect our water for the next 50 years.
Protecting our place is at once selfish and selfless, as we work to ensure our region is preserved for the future. The many hands. The many voices. The many miles of rivers, lakeshore, and duneland. These assets, together to create this place that we have chosen and have chosen to protect for many years to come.
past wmeac executive directors
past wmeac locations
1968 - 1971
grand rapids tuberculosis society
1971 - 1976
822 Cherry St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
1976 - ?
1325 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
? - 2006
1432 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, Mi 49506
2006 - present
1007 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
- WMEAC was formed as the first large environmental council in Michigan, representing such diverse associations as churches, parent teacher groups, businesses, men’s clubs, student groups, women’s groups, labor associations and conservation organizations.
- Organized the first widespread grassroots support for water quality standards and pesticide control.
- Led the successful fight to stop the Army Corps of Engineers $350 million proposal to build 17 dams on the tributaries of the Grand River.
- Initiated, with the Environmental Defense Fund, and joined by the National Audubon Society and the State of New York, the federal suit that led to the end of most uses of DDT in the United States.
- Played a crucial role in the passage of the National Environmental Protection Act.
- Initiated and led the successful statewide battle to pass Michigan’s internationally known Environmental Protection Act, a model for at least seven other states in the nation and the subject of respect and interest at conferences around the world.