Our Magnificent and Vulnerable Great Lakes | Wis.Community


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Chippewa Valley Sierra Club is partnering with the L. E. Phillips Memorial Library on the 2019 One Book, One Community Reading Program. This year’s book is “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes” written by Dan Egan, a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He has covered the Great Lakes since 2003 and is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist. Dan’s book details the very serious current threats to the Great Lakes and suggests how we can restore and preserve these inland seas for generations to come. One Book, One Community culminates with three events from April 30 to May 2.

Our May 1 meeting will be held at the library to coincide with the 7:00 p.m. “One Book” keynote presentation by Jane Elder titled, “Our Magnificent and Vulnerable Great Lakes.” Sierra Club had a direct hand in identifying Jane as the speaker. She is presently Executive Director of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters and holds a leadership position on the Great Lakes Water Quality Board which is the principal advisor to the U.S.-Canada International Joint Commission. Jane also has deep Sierra Club roots.

Jane’s Sierra Club leadership started in Michigan where she was the first full-time director of the Michigan Chapter. Her legacy in Michigan is marked by the establishment of the Jane Elder Environmentalist of the Year Award which is the highest award presented by the Michigan Chapter.

Subsequently, Jane led the Sierra Club’s Midwest Office in Madison for many years, spearheading advances in water and air quality and public lands protection in the region. She was the founding director of the Sierra Club’s Great Lakes Program and the first recipient of the Sierra Club’s Michael McCloskey Award which honors “a distinguished record of achievement in national or international conservation causes.”

Following is a link to the library website with a description of Jane Elder’s presentation and a link for program registration which is recommended.


You may be able to round up the print edition or the e-book version of “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes” through the library or at your local bookstore.

Whether or not you have read the book, join us on May 1 at the library for Jane Elder’s keynote presentation.

If you are interested, here is a congenial introduction to Jane Elder in a 4-minute video for the Watermark Project. She reflects on the beauty and importance of the Great Lakes and her evolution as an environmental activist.


Finally, here is a link to the L.E. Phillips Library calendar with information on the two additional One Book, One Community events. Check the book discussion link on April 30 and the aquatic invasive species link on May 2.




May 1 2019 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Eau Claire Room - L.E. Phillips Memorial Library, 400 Eau Claire St., Eau Claire, WI