Tag: advocacy

ART MEETS WATER: “Wilderness, Water & Rust: A Journey Toward Great Lakes Resilience” by Jane Elder book talk

Wilderness, Water, and Rust: A Journey toward Great Lakes Resilience asks us to consider what we value about life in the Great Lakes region and how caring for its remarkable ecosystems might help us imagine new, whole futures. Weaving together memories from her life in the upper Midwest with nearly fifty years of environmental policy advocacy work, Jane Elder provides a uniquely moving insider’s perspective into the quest to protect the Great Lakes and surrounding public lands, from past battles to protect Michigan wilderness and shape early management strategies for the national lakeshores to present fights against toxic pollution and climate change. She argues that endless cycles of resource exploitation and boom and bust created a ‘rust belt’ legacy that still threatens our capacity for resilience. The author lays out the challenges that lie ahead and invites us to imagine bold new strategies through which we might thrive.

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Are we keeping the Great Lakes great? Few are in a better position to tell us than Jane Elder, a veteran of more than 40 years of public advocacy for the Great Lakes. In her new book, “Wilderness, Water and Rust,” she tells vivid stories of being in the front lines of the fight to clean up and restore the Lakes and offers insights on saving the Lakes for generations to come. “While not overlooking setbacks and defeats, Jane, in exquisite prose, provides hope for the Great Lakes, the planet, and ourselves.”
— FLOW senior advisor and author Dave Dempsey

A Conversation with Author Jane Elder:


Tell us what the book is about.

The book is part memoir of environmental issues I have worked on in the Great Lakes region over the course of my career, with a focus on public lands, including wilderness areas, and Great Lakes water quality and ecological health.

It is also a critique of policy—what has worked, what hasn’t, and the challenges we face with advancing positive public policy to protect the environment and public health in these times. A theme that runs through the book is that the region’s boom and bust economic cycles (thus the “rust” part of the title) have hurt both human communities and left behind a legacy of environmental damage, and that we need to break out of that pattern for people and the rest of nature to thrive.

Read the interview here!