WMU News

Restoring Michigan's "environmental greatness"

March 26, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- WMU alumnus Dave Dempsey, a former environmental advisor to Michigan Gov. James Blanchard and the author of "Ruin and Recovery: Michigan's Rise as a Conservation Leader," will return to his alma mater Thursday, March 28, to discuss the state's environmental future.

Dempsey, a 1997 WMU graduate, will address "Restoring Michigan's Environmental Greatness" at 7 p.m. in Room 1301 of Wood Hall on the WMU campus. His presentation, sponsored by WMU's Environmental Studies Program and the Environmental Institute, is free and open to the public.

Currently the policy advisor for the Michigan Environmental Council, Dempsey has been involved in Michigan environmental issues since 1982. He is a former executive director of the MEC and served as Blanchard's environmental advisor from 1983 to 1989. He was then appointed to head the Council on Environmental Quality, which he oversaw until the end of 1990. He was instrumental in promoting the state's adoption of the Great Lakes Charter and in creating the Great Lakes Protection Fund. In addition, he wrote Michigan's first recycling policy and developed initiatives in sand dune protection, environmental cleanup and outdoor recreation. In 1994, he received a presidential appointment to the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission, which he served on until 2001.

Dempsey's presentation will be based on some of the findings in his 2001 book, "Ruin and Recovery," which provides a comprehensive look at Michigan's environmental history and its past as a national leader in conservation efforts. Dempsey says the environmental threats facing Michigan today include its eroding land base, as development claims more and more forests and farmlands each year.

For more information, contact the WMU Environmental Studies Program at (269) 387-2716.

Media contact: Marie Lee, 269 387-8400, marie.lee@wmich.edu

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