Tuesday, March 20, 2012

a second/third hand comment - keep 'em coming.

A few weeks ago, an acquaintance mentioned to me that the easiest way to express a vision of the Great Lakes is "The lakes belong to all of us, we all need to take care of them."  She had seen that quote somewhere, now I don't remember where she said she had seen it. Anyone out there know?

The idea is that you do take care of your stuff, don't you? I see people lavishing care on inanimate objects. Maybe some similar care could be lavished on the lakes.

(I can also think of a mom telling her kid that broke something "that's why we can't have nice things.")

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Three Lakes Sierra Club Comments on 1st Symphony

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak at a meeting of our local Sierra Club. I gave a brief overview of the Symphony project, then the 20 or so people in attendance broke into four groups and discussed the Symphony's visioning questions. Note-takers in each group gave me their notes, which I summarized into the statements below. Thanks, Three Lakes Sierra Club members for your great ideas.

I encourage everyone else to add their comments!

What concerns us
Continuing environmental degradation: pollution (sewage, industrial pollution, runoff);  invasive species; loss of natural areas and biodiversity due to urban growth, industrial activity including mining, natural gas production, unsustainable ag practices, loss of aesthetic values

Potential for water exports

Loss of local control and reduced access to decision making (e.g., inability to regulate multinational corporations)

Loss of access to shorelines

What unites us
The beauty of the lakes/rivers, the similarity of the ecosystems

That we can learn from each other – what works in one part of the basin may well work in another
What to promote
Effective environmental laws/regulations to protect environmental quality
Clean water as an intrinsic value
Sustainable economies
Education, K-12 and adult about natural systems
Overcoming greed, get some people to appreciate the lakes as much as they appreciate their money
Decentralized, sustainable, local economies, businesses that are part of the community
Access to decision-making, respectful communications with each other
Creative approaches to problem solving, using nature’s principles
The role of healthy lakes for healthy people (mind, body and soul)
Appreciation of the lakes/rivers

Vision for 2035
Communities with sustainable food systems, transportation, energy systems and other businesses. Communities that live with the lakes with a smaller ecological footprint.
Public access to natural areas/shorelines, communities that value the beauty of natural areas and systems

How to make the vision a reality
Education – adult/general public and K-12 – about each of our local watersheds as well as the greater Great Lakes/St Lawrence system.
Kid-to-kid learnings – like the videos featured in the Vide-Eau contest
Artists, musicians, writers helping develop a perspective on the lakes/rivers
Local celebrations/festivals

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

a news report on the symphony project

UP Second Wave media posted this news report on their website:


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Leave your comments!

I encourage you to add a comment in reply to the following visioning questions. Several groups around the Gt. Lakes/St Lawrence Basin are collecting these comments and will compile them for presentation to the meeting of the Great Lakes Cities Initiative later next summer in Quebec City.

What unites all of us who live in the basin?
What is important and what worries us about our waters?
What do we want to promote?
What is our vision for the basin in 2035?
How can we make our vision come true?

Friday, October 28, 2011

facebook page

The Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Symphony has a facebook page. Check it out!
especially the youtube of the interview about lake erie.


This blog is designed to give residents around Lake Superior a chance to contribute their views to the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Symphony (that's 'symphony' as in united voices, not symphony as in 'orchestra').

The Symphony is a coordinated by the International Water Secretariat, a non-government organization based in Montreal, Quebec (visit http://www.sie-isw.org/en/the-first-great-lakes-a-st-lawrence-symphony)

The Symphony hopes to hear from residents along the lakes regarding the following questions:

  • What unites all of us who live in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence system?
  • What is important to us and what worries us regarding our waters?
  • What do we want to promote?
  • What is our shared vision for 2035?
  • What actions should we take to make our vision come true?
In the summer of 2012, a group of 50 people selected from project participants will present a synopsis of these responses to the annual meeting of the Great Lakes Initiative, a collaborative of Great Lakes mayors.

We hope this project will continue beyond that as a mechanism for people to continue to express their goals and vision for our spectacular resource represented by the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River and Gulf.