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Great Lakes Toxic Hotspots: Organizing the Cleanup 2

(This the second part of a two-piece post on Great Lakes Areas of Concern and the upcoming events to address this pressing issue. To read the first post, click here.)
On Friday, June 12th, Great Lakes United will host a workshop dedicated to the ongoing remediation of highly contaminated waterways, Areas of Concern, in our community and the entire Great Lakes region. Held at UB’s Center for the Arts, Great Lakes Toxic Hotspots: Organizing the Cleanup, will bring together members of the community and a variety of experts to discuss the critical role of citizens in creating healthy communities. A day packed full of speakers and panels, some of the presentations include:

– Great Lakes: The Crucible of Modern Environmental Activism presented by Peter Montague of the Environmental Research Foundation and co-creator of Rachel’s Democracy and Health News bringing perspective from decades of grassroots activism on toxics and social justice issues.

– Labour and the Community Uncovering the Toxic Legacy in Canada’s Chemical Valley co-presented by Jim Brophy and Margaret Keith of Toxic Free Canada

– Citizens Leading the Cleanup offering local insight from Jill Spisiak Jedlicka of the Buffalo Niagara RiverKeeper

The region’s lakes, rivers, and channels connect the global water system.  During lunch, Dr. Zafar Adeel, Director of United Nations University International Network on Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), presents Wag the Dog: Using Science to Govern the American and African Great Lakes, bringing to the forefront the necessary interconnectedness of efforts to solve water problems focusing on the knowledge networks and science exchanges for solving water problems across the local and global community.

In the afternoon we’ll join with UB’s Connecting Channels workshop for a session on citizens organizing across borders.  Citizens Organizing in Binational AOCs: To Be or Not To Be Binational will feature Elaine Kennedy, Member of St. Lawrence River Restoration Council and Janice Littlefield the U.S. Co-Chair, St. Clair River Binational Public Advisory Council.

 The 43 Areas of Concern across the US-CA Great Lakes Region. Image from US EPA

Following this session, participants will be able to spend time in break out discussions with fellow residents, and citizens from other communities interested in sharing their experiences and strategizing about future work.

The day’s events, running from 8:30am  to 5:00pm on June 12th, will include a wine and cheese reception and remarks from Canadian Ambassador Michael Wilson. Registration is only $25 and includes lunch and refreshments. Everyone is welcome. Be sure to attend; a day dedicated to the power of citizens and communities’ involvement in Great Lakes restoration would not be complete without representatives from our communities and neighborhoods. For a full agenda and registration information visit here.

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