David Ermisch and Craig Lamberton: Celebrating marriage with MEC

Though he now lives on the East Coast, it's clear that Cheboygan-raised David Ermisch still loves Michigan's Great Lakes and wild places. For one thing, he didn't let a late-summer cold front with temperatures in the 50s stop him from swimming in Lake Michigan during a visit to his family's cottage in the Upper Peninsula.

And when Ermisch took a different kind of plunge in June, he and his new husband, Craig Lamberton, urged their wedding guests to make a contribution to the Michigan Environmental Council in lieu of a gift.

"We're older and kind of settled, so we weren't really looking for wedding gifts," Lamberton said.

"We already have a toaster," Ermisch added. "We were looking for an organization making a difference, and we were pretty impressed with the work MEC is doing."

The two were wed on June 27, the day after the U.S. Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land.

"What an honor it is for MEC to be part of Craig and David's celebration at such an historic moment for our country," said Chris Kolb, MEC president. "The happy couple and their generous guests provided hundreds of dollars that will go a long way in our efforts to protect what's so special about our beautiful state."

The couple met 14 years ago while working at Peace Corps headquarters–both were former Peace Corps volunteers, Ermisch in Ecuador and Lamberton in Mali–and they live just outside Washington, DC.

Lamberton, a Connecticut native, is West Africa desk officer for the U.S. Agency for International Development–a role that involved responding to the Ebola outbreak. Ermisch is a cartographer with the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration. (In the mid-1990s, he worked for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, where his brother still works.)

Guests at their Rockville, MD, wedding came from Germany, Mali and all over the U.S., and made gifts to other charitable organizations along with MEC. Asked what in Michigan they care most about protecting, Ermisch and Lamberton–who has grown to love his husband's home state through regular visits–said it's our incredible water resources that inspired them to support MEC.

"It's only going to become more and more important as climate change progresses," Ermisch said. "Michigan has these vast quantities of fresh water, and it's just really important to preserve that."

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