West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum will present a luncheon program examining state and regional water quality initiatives, plus a sneak peak of the new Holland Energy Park, on Monday, July 14 at the MSU Bioeconomy Institute in Holland from 12 to 2 pm. Presented by Holland Board of Public Works and Project Clarity.
Governor Rick Snyder has tasked the state government of Michigan with creating a vision for how it will manage water quality and quantity in the near and not-so-near future. The “water strategy” aims to steer water-related policy in all forms for the next 30 years toward sustainable, beneficial use. The Office of the Great Lakes is spearheading this effort in partnership with several other state agencies, examining topics such as invasive species, water withdrawal, water quality and infrastructure, storm water, legacy pollution and restoration and coastal resilience, among other issues. Jon Allan, Director of the Michigan Office of the Great Lakes, will speak on this important work.
Allan served as advisor to the Great Lakes Compact negotiations, co-chaired Michigan’s Groundwater Conservation Advisory Council and the Water Resources Advisory Council that was tasked with formulating the state’s implementation of the Great Lakes Compact Agreement. He also served as chair of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce’s Environmental Quality Committee. Recently, he served for a number of years as a member of the Environmental Advisory Council for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Jon recently completed his tenure as co-chair of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on State Parks and Recreation.
Travis Williams, Executive Director of the Outdoor Discover Center Macatawa Greenway will provide an update on Project Clarity, an initiative to permanently clean, restore and maintain the waters of Lake Macatawa. Water quality research in the Macatawa Watershed led to the development of a comprehensive restoration plan that identified five key areas in which to focus efforts that would make significant improvements in water quality. From project staff, “Project Clarity is a story about water. It’s a story about people. It’s a story about hope for the future. And the story is just beginning. Everyone has a role to play in this story: from residents to government officials and farmers to business owners. Come and learn how you can be part of the story.”
The City of Holland has launched a comprehensive 40-year energy plan to become a world-class leader in energy security, affordability, sustainability and efficiency. As an important steward of the community’s energy assets, Holland Board of Public Works is developing a cleaner power generation source for Holland’s future. Dave Koster, HBPW General Manager, will describe the initiatives and investments being made toward that goal. He also will discuss the new Holland Energy Park, the quest to have it obtain the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s highest accreditation, and how community engagement is guiding it to be far more than a new power plant.
Tours of the MSU Bioeconomy Institute will also be available immediately after the meeting.
Cost for lunch is $10 for WMSBF members, $15 for non-members