Reconnect to the River
West Michigan Environmental Action Council, Grand Rapids Public Museum and Founders Brewing Company are presenting a forum examining the current state and potential future of the Grand River in West Michigan on Tuesday, May 22 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s Meijer Theatre.
RECONNECT TO THE RIVER will feature an expert panel that will discuss the behaviors that have contributed to the degradation of the river's water quality and the options that are available to make the river healthy once again. Key topics include restoring the rapids, stormwater management, fisheries and habitat, and river activation and recreation.
Several key initiatives are currently underway that stand to greatly improve how our community relates to the Grand River. WMEAC’s community stormwater planning initiative is wrapping up a two-year project focused on improving water pollution policy in the city. Trout Unlimited is involved in a similar initiative upriver to help protect local fisheries and aquatic habitat. Grand Rapids Whitewater is in the midst of a high-profile plan to put the city’s eponymous rapids back into the Grand River. The City of Grand Rapids and several partners downtown are working hard to improve access to the river and fashion a downtown district that appreciates, values and protects the Grand.
The evening will also feature the debut of a short film by the Green Living Project, a global initiative focused on documenting sustainability-related stories that highlight efforts in tourism, wildlife, education, food, community development and social issues. The film will feature WMEAC, Trout Unlimited, Grand Rapids Whitewater and City of Grand Rapids.
Sponsors for the event include Grand Rapids Public Museum and Founders Brewing Company. The event is free to the public, although registration is encouraged, as seating is limited. A reception with cash bar will begin at 6 p.m. Programming begins at 7 p.m.
WMEAC Policy Director Nicholas Occhipinti
Suzanne Schulz, Director of the Planning Department for the City of Grand Rapids
Joshua Zuiderveen, Owner of StreamWorks, LLC
Kristin Thomas, Aquatic Ecologist at Michigan Trout Unlimited
Chip Richards, Co-founder of Grand Rapids Whitewater
Moderator Phil Skaggs, West Michigan Director of Michigan League of Conservation Voters