Back to News Room
Make Urban Habitat Work for People, Wildlife
|Photo: Jeff Cashman|
CHICAGO -- As many as 170 experts from the Great Lakes states, Canada and across the country gathered in Chicago to identify critical actions needed to increase and enhance habitat restoration in Great Lakes cities.
"We have to bring habitat back to everyday people," Alliance President Cameron Davis said at the Jan. 22-23 conference. "And we have to make sure the habitat that we do bring back is not cosmetic -- that it’s real, it’s functional, and it works for the fish and wildlife that we need to bring back to our cities."
Those attending the Great Lakes Urban Habitat Restoration Symposium recommended considering public benefits when prioritizing urban projects; supporting realistic ecological targets; and finding novel new sources of public and private investment to match federal dollars.
“Urban habitats are for wildlife and people, not one or the other,” said Joel Brammeier, Alliance vice president for policy. "Restoring our Great Lakes cities multiplies benefits in countless ways."
Noting attendees’ preference to reap ecological benefits from new urban infrastructure investments, Brammeier said money for Great Lakes restoration “has to include ‘green’ and ‘blue’ dollars from our federal partners.”
The Alliance co-hosted the symposium with the Chicago Park District and nearly a dozen other agencies and organizations involved with Great Lakes restoration. The final report of the symposium will be the basis for priority recommendations to the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration and other regional restoration authorities.