I share in the excitement with FLOW’s Executive Director Liz Kirkwood, the staff, Board of Directors, and supporters in welcoming Dave Dempsey’s arrival at FLOW.
When we began FLOW in its initial stages nine years ago, Dave Dempsey expressed his enthusiasm and support for our launch and the course ahead. He knows first-hand how important strong policies and actions are to address the systemic threats we face in the 21st century.
Dave and I have shared a friendship, worked together, and exchanged ideas and our shared passion for the Great Lakes, its people, and beauty for over 30 years. FLOW, but more importantly, all of us in Michigan and in the Great Lakes region are fortunate Dave has decided to join us at this time. His ideas, wisdom, talents, professionalism, and experience will help us find and implement commons, public trust principles and new frameworks to find solutions to the systemic threats that face the Great Lakes and our world.
As you might expect, since Dave arrived, we’ve already rolled up our sleeves higher and waded a little more deeply to strengthen our capacity and efforts in what all of us and our organizations can accomplish as we work together and with many others in the years to come.
Great Lakes Policy Expert, Environmental Historian Joins FLOW
TRAVERSE CITY – Great Lakes water law and environmental policy non-profit, For Love Of Water (FLOW), has hired Great Lakes policy expert and environmental historian, Dave Dempsey, as Senior Advisor.
For the past six years, Dempsey has served as Policy Advisor to the International Joint Commission (IJC). The IJC was established in 1909 by the Boundary Waters Treaty between the United States and Canada and is charged with protecting the common waters and water interests of the United States and Canada.
“We are thrilled and grateful that Dave has chosen to work with our team at FLOW to help protect and preserve the Great Lakes at this critical juncture,” said FLOW Executive Director Liz Kirkwood.
“Dave’s knowledge and experience will enrich and expand the scope of FLOW’s mission to empower citizens and elected officials with information-based risk analysis and with public trust solutions that will protect the health of the lakes, streams and drinking water in the Great Lakes basin for current and future generations,” Kirkwood said.
Dempsey’s 35-year career has included service as Environmental Policy Advisor to former Michigan Governor James Blanchard, presidential appointee to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and Senior Policy Advisor for the non-profit Michigan Environmental Council. He has also authored or co-authored nine books including the award-winning William G. Milliken: Michigan’s Passionate Moderate, 2006.
Dempsey said FLOW is unique in its approach to using the centuries-old public trust doctrine as a powerful tool to protect citizens’ legal rights to use the Great Lakes and to hold state governments accountable for ensuring these waters and public uses are protected in perpetuity.
His strong attraction to working with FLOW at this stage of his career, Dempsey said, is based on the opportunity to work with Kirkwood, the FLOW team, and with FLOW Founder Jim Olson, a nationally recognized environmental lawyer, to foster wide understanding and effective use of the public trust doctrine to protect the Great Lakes. But, Dempsey said, his decision is also deeply personal.
“In writing about Michigan’s conservation history, I learned about the men and women of the late 19th Century who laid the groundwork for today’s public forests, fish and game. They were far ahead of their time. FLOW is comparable. Its forward-looking efforts will prevent environmental and economic devastation by assuring public ownership and protection of our water,” he said.
Senior Advisor at FLOW
FLOW is a Great Lakes water law and policy 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the common waters of the Great Lakes Basin through public trust solutions.