Thursday, September 26, 2019 at 06:00 PM
Rattlesnake Club in Detroit, MI

21st Annual Environmental Awards Celebration

Special Guest: Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Standing up for what’s right isn’t a cliché to Rhonda Anderson and Lynn McIntosh. It’s a core value they express every day. And it’s enabled each to realize impressive triumphs to better protect Michigan’s residents and the water, air, and soil that sustain us.

Both will be guests of honor at Michigan Environmental Council’s 21st Annual Environmental Awards Celebration on September 26 at the Rattlesnake Club in Detroit. We invite you to join us in honoring these dedicated advocates.

Donate now to reserve your place!

You can also be a part of this special event by becoming a sponsor.

RHONDA ANDERSON will receive the Helen and William Milliken Distinguished Service Award in recognition of her longtime advocacy for residents in communities overburdened by industrial pollution, particularly parts of Southwest Detroit. Time and again, she has challenged powerful interests to change harmful industrial practices and respond to environmental justice concerns.


LYNN MCINTOSH will be presented with the Petoskey Prize for Environmental Leadership for her inspired efforts to blow the whistle on a public health threat. Through six years of research, she uncovered incredibly high PFAS levels in the local groundwater, which, in turn, sparked government responses to address PFAS contamination in Rockford and across Michigan.


THE HONORABLE GRETCHEN WHITMER, Michigan's 49th governor, has made protecting drinking water and fighting for environmental justice two key issues of her administration.

We are honored that she has agreed to be the keynote speaker for this year's Environmental Awards Celebration.


Thursday, October 03, 2019 at 08:30 AM · $35.00 USD
The MTG Space in Lansing, MI

Michigan Coastal Dunes Symposium 2019

  • How have Michigan’s coastal dunes changed in the last 100 years?
  • What impact do our activities have on natural dune processes?
  • How are dunes perceived by Michigan residents and communities?
  • What criteria do local and state decision makers use when making dunes planning and management decisions for their communities?  

Join us at the Michigan Coastal Dunes Symposium 2019 to engage with researchers and policy makers on answers to these questions and more, with the goal of learning how to live in Michigan’s dynamic coastal dunes.  Participants will:

  • Hear researchers share cutting edge science on how our coastal dunes developed over time, and how they respond to influences ranging from interactions with human beings to changes in lake levels and climate.
  • Engage with state and local policymakers during a panel discussion reviewing current policies and recent examples.
  • Discover the latest research on Michiganders' views of coastal dunes -- their benefits and the perceived threats to dunes.
  • Access new resources for planners and decision-makers in your community.

Who Should Attend

  • Local and state planners and decision-makers for Michigan coastal dune communities
  • Coastal dunes advocates, scholars, and citizen scientists and interested residents

Presentations & Speakers Include

  • Dr. Alan Arbogast, Chairperson of the Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Science in the College of Social Science at Michigan State University. Dr. Arbogast is one of the country’s leading experts on the geomorphology and evolution of dunes, particularly the coastal sand dunes in the Great Lakes region. 
  • Dr. Robert Richardson, a natural resource economist and social scientist at Michigan State University, with extensive experience in the examination of values, preferences, and decision-making processes regarding natural resources and ecosystem services,including coastal resources. 
  • Sands of Time -- New research using repeat photography to illustrate how Michigan's coastal dunes have changed over time.
  • Panel Discussion -- State and local government coastal dunes decision-makers will discuss recent experiences around dunes management.

Space is limited and registration is required. Reserve your place today!

Financial assistance for this project was provided, in part, by the Coastal Zone Management Program, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


8:30 am Registration & breakfast
9:00 am

Opening Remarks

 Michigan Coastal Management Program

9:05 am

Keynote: The Importance of Dunes to Michigan

Michigan Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry

9:30 am

Mental Models: How Do People Perceive Coastal Dunes & How Does That Affect Decisionmaking?  Results from Summer 2019 Dunes Workshops

Dr. Robert Richardson, Department of Community Sustainability, Michigan State University

10:30 am Break & Interactive Activity
11:00 am

Assessing Impacts on Michigan's Coastal Dune Processes - Research Findings & Sands of Time Repeat Photography

Dr. Alan Arbogast & Kevin McKeehan, Department of Geography, Michigan State University

12:00 pm Lunch & Networking
1:00 pm

Recent Work: Strategies Coastal Communities Can Use to Reduce Future Invasive Species Introductions & Prevent Habitat Degradation

Kaldis Grants, The Nature Conservancy in Michigan & Michigan Dune Alliance

2:00 pm

Panel Discussion: Living in Dynamic Dunes: Who Decides & How?

Marcy Hamilton, Southwest Michigan Planning Commission
Jennifer Howland, City of Grand Haven
Kate Lederle, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, & Energy
Richard Norton, University of Michigan

3:30 pm

Pulling It All Together: What Have We Learned About Michigan Dunes Management & Perceptions

Tom Zimnicki, Michigan Environmental Council

3:50 pm

Closing Remarks: What's Next? Role of Participants

4:00 pm

Safe travels!