So what is Great Lakes Day and why did it leave such a lasting impression? The official answer as found on the Great Lakes Commission website: "Great Lakes Day is an annual event hosted by the Great Lakes Commission and the Northeast-Midwest Institute to convey a unified message to Congress expressing the Great Lakes region's priorities for legislation and appropriations to protect our environment and support our economy." Don't get me wrong, Great Lakes Day is all of these things. But, it is also a chance to explore the city, attend a reception at the Canadian embassy, help with a congressional breakfast at which you meet Sen. Levin(!), highlight the results of all of the hard work the organization has been doing to generate regional consensus among a broad array of stakeholders, and show off some of the products that you (the Fellow) have been working on so diligently (example: http://www.glc.org/restore/glrimap/). My week in DC will be one of the brightest moments of my fellowship, and is yet another reason to be incredibly grateful to my mentors and friends at both the Commission and at Sea Grant.
Great Lakes Commission Fellow
(6/2012 – 6/2013)