Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Patty Birkholz Appointed To Great Lakes Protection Fund Board

Nov 9: Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced the appointment of Patty Birkholz, of Saugatuck, to the Great Lakes Protection Fund Board of Directors. Established in 1989, the Great Lakes Protection Fund (GLPF) is a private, nonprofit corporation and permanent environmental endowment that supports collaborative actions to improve the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem. The fund's board of directors meets quarterly and governs fund operations. The Governor said, "Patty is a well-known and highly regarded advocate for Michigan and its lakes. I am confident she will do great work to promote and enhance the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem."


    Birkholz most recently served as director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes. Previously, she served five terms in the Michigan Legislature, including three in the House and two in the Senate. She was the first woman in State history elected president pro-tempore. Birkholz's legislative work focused on protecting the Great Lakes and Michigan's groundwater; she championed the adoption of the historic Great Lakes Water Compact and spearheaded passage of the nation's first scientifically-based water withdrawal legislation. Birkholz holds a bachelor's degree in speech pathology from Western Michigan University, where she also completed graduate work in speech pathology and public administration. She replaces Rich Baird. Birkholz will serve a two-year term that expires October 11, 2014, and her appointment is not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.


    The GLPF recently released its draft version of the Fund's 2011 Annual Report which until the close of business on Monday, November 26, 2012. In 1989, the Governors of the Great Lakes states created the Protection Fund to help them protect and restore their shared natural resources. The Fund is the first private endowment created to benefit a specific ecosystem. It is designed to support the creative work of collaborative teams that test new ideas, take risks, and share what they have learned. It is a source of financial support for groups that value innovation and entrepreneurship, focus on tangible benefits for the Great Lakes ecosystem, and learn by doing. Seven Great Lakes states contributed $81 million to the Fund's permanent endowment.


    Access a release from the Governor (click here). Access the GLPF website for more information (click here). Access the announcement of the draft report with commenting instructions and link to the complete 36-page report (click here).


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