Heather1Heather Smith has been named the The Watershed Center’s new Grand Traverse Baykeeper® and assumed her duties on August 1.

Smith grew up in Leelanau County and attended schools in Suttons Bay. She earned her undergraduate degree in Biology and Environmental Science from Michigan State University and a graduate degree in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin Madison.

“As a northern Michigan native educated in the Great Lakes region, I wholeheartedly believe in The Watershed Center’s mission,” Smith said. “I grew up on and in the water. The Bay and its watershed are a beautiful, unique natural resource and I am dedicated to being an advocate for its protection.”

Heather2Smith’s background includes watershed outreach, water quality monitoring, community engagement and volunteer management. She was most recently with the Sacramento Tree Foundation and returned to her native roots for her new position.

As Baykeeper, Smith will advocate for the environmental health of the Grand Traverse Bay watershed by serving as a liaison between concerned citizens, regulatory bodies, municipalities, planners and developers; conducting outreach and education programs; providing oversight and comments on proposed projects that require permits when water quality could be affected; and monitoring area waters.

“Heather’s experience identifying water quality threats, building volunteer programs, responding to citizen concerns, and monitoring aquatic ecosystems is exactly what we were looking for in our Grand Traverse Baykeeper®,” said Watershed Center Executive Director Christine Crissman. “I believe we have chosen the right person with the experience and passion to be our Baykeeper and I am excited to see how the position grows under Heather’s leadership.”

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The Watershed Center advocates for water quality in Grand Traverse Bay and works to protect and preserve its 1,000-square-mile watershed. The cornerstone of its advocacy program is the Grand Traverse Baykeeper program, which began in 2002 when The Watershed Center became a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance®, a non-profit organization representing over 290 Waterkeepers on six continents to protect citizen’s rights to clean water.

 

 

 

 

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