Singer/activist Sarah Harmer, Great Lakes experts headline public forum Wednesday on University of Windsor campus



Hugh McDiarmid: 226-280-2781


The public is invited to a talk by singer/activist Sarah Harmer followed by a dialogue with a panel of Great Lakes experts on Wednesday, September 24, in the Katzman Lounge of Vanier Hall on the University of Windsor campus.

The program begins at 7 p.m., followed by the panel discussion that includes:

--- Dr. Doug Haffner, Senior Canada Research Chair in Great Lakes Research at the University of Windsor

--- Dr. John Hartig, Refuge Manager for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

--- Dr. David Grossman, Health Commissioner with the Toledo/Lucas County Health Department

--- Mark Mattson, Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and environmental lawyer.

Harmer, a Canadian songwriter, has released five solo albums, toured North America extensively and won two Juno Awards. She co-founded the citizen organization Protecting Escarpment Rural Land (PERL) and has been active in calling attention to the risks from tar sands and other mineral extraction; and in the struggle to end violence against women.

The event is free, and sponsored by the Water Quality Board (WQB) of the International Joint Commission. The Board is the Commission’s principal adviser in identifying emerging Great Lakes issues, recommending strategies to maintain water quality, and assessing progress toward the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement’s objectives of making the waters swimmable, drinkable and fishable.

The forum is timely given many emerging challenges to the Great Lakes, including algae-borne toxins that plagued municipal water systems this summer and invasive species that continue to wreak havoc on the ecosystem.

"This is an opportunity to hear from people who are on the front lines of Great Lakes protection – working to solve vexing issues like invasive species, persistent contaminants and harmful algae blooms," said Rob de Loe, Canadian co-chair of the Water Quality Board. "Our message is that we have a world-class resource in our backyard, and we are committed to helping it stay that way for future generations."

David Ullrich, U.S. co-chair of the Water Quality Board, added, "Our Great Lakes, with almost 20 percent of the planet’s fresh surface water, are a global treasure and the backbone of the region’s economy and quality of life. Sarah’s passion and our panelists’ insights should make for a lively and engaging evening of dialogue."


For the location of Vanier Hall, use the "locate a building" drop-down menu on this campus map. Parking is available at meters, or at nearby parking facilities designated under the "locate a parking lot" drop-down menu.


The International Joint Commission was established under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help the United States and Canada prevent and resolve disputes over the use of the waters the two countries share.  Its responsibilities include reporting on progress made under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the nations toward restoring and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Great Lakes and connecting waters.