Do you have an opinion on how Michigan should handle PFAS? What about rising water rates, Line 5, water withdrawals, or invasive species?
To have your voice heard on Michigan’s most pressing water issues, grab your free ticket today for the Center for Michigan’s Citizen Water Summits this October.
At each summit, you will have the opportunity to hear from experts, then share opinions on how to resolve the state’s ongoing water debates. The ideas you share will form the Center’s upcoming Citizen’s Water Agenda, a summation of residents' water priorities that will be delivered to state leaders in Lansing to amplify your voice.
A light dinner will be provided at both summits. Doors open at 5 p.m., programing will run from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. These summits are a part of the Center’s ongoing Your Water, Your Voice campaign. Running from Sept. 3 to Nov. 15, the Center is hosting community meetings statewide to identify how residents want state leaders to handle Michigan’s acute water issues.
October 3: Great Waters, Great Economy Summit - Lansing
PANEL 1 - Strike a Balance: Harnessing and preserving water to grow our economy
Moderator: Alexandra Schmidt, public engagement director, Center for Michigan
- Laura Campbell, agriculture ecology manager, Michigan Farm Bureau
- Rich Bowman, director of government relations, Nature Conservancy - Michigan
- Conan Smith, CEO & president, Michigan Environmental Council
- Steven Japinga, vice president of government relations, Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce
PANEL 2 - Toeing the Line: Weighing Line 5’s benefits and risks for Michigan
Moderator: Jim Malewitz, environment reporter, Bridge Magazine
- Peter Langley, executive director, Associated Petroleum Industries of Michigan
- Andrea Pierce, chair and founder, Anishinaabek Caucus - Michigan Democratic Party
- James Clift, deputy director, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy
- Elise Matz, appointee, State of Michigan Utility Consumer Participation Board
October 24: Drinking Water Summit - Grand Rapids
Keep an eye out for additional participant announcements for each panel!
PANEL 1 - Preparing our Water Infrastructure for the Next Century
Moderator: John Bebow, CEO, Center for Michigan
- Ken Yonker, drain commissioner, Kent County & former Republican state representative
- Don Petrovich, superintendent of water treatment, Plainfield Township
- Pat Staskiewicz, director of utilities, Ottawa County Road Commission & incoming director, Michigan Section American Water Works Association
- Eric Oswald, director, Drinking Water and Environmental Health Divisions, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy
PANEL 2 - Straight to the Source: How do we protect our waters from PFAS and other contaminants?
Moderator: Riley Beggin, Capitol watchdog reporter, Bridge Magazine
- Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids), 29th District state senator
- Robert Delaney, defense and state memorandum of agreement coordinator, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy
- Steve Sliver, executive director, Michigan PFAS Action Response Team
- Elaine Isely, director of water programs, West Michigan Environmental Action Council
If there’s not a summit where you live - don’t worry! Your voice can still be heard.
Start by checking out “Lake to Tap: A citizen’s guide to Michigan’s water issues” for an overview the state’s water debates.
After that, head to Bridge Magazine’s Facebook page for Summit livestreams. Tune in throughout the evening for live access to the expert dialogues.
Once the panels are over, the Citizen Sound Off Session begins! This is your chance to share your water priorities.
The sessions will kick off with a series of multiple choice questions about different water issues, then move onto a moderated dialogue. You can answer the multiple choice questions alongside in-person participants with TurningPoint, a live polling app. Follow these directions to download TurningPoint on your phone or tablet to be heard no matter where in Michigan you live.