Great Lakes Lessons from the Past: Relevance for Today’s PFAS Campaigns – Webinar, May 6

Great Lakes Lessons from the Past: Relevance for Today’s PFAS Campaigns

This event took place on May 6, 2020; the recording available here and below.
The slide show for the webinar is also available.

Hosted by Great Lakes advocates from the 1980’s and 1990’s, this webinar looked at key principles, organizing approaches and learnings from past Great Lakes advocacy for PFAS campaigns today.  As busy environmental activists, we all appreciate an opportunity to learn from past efforts and not reinvent the wheel. Presenters John Jackson, Tim Eder, Joyce McLean, and Jane Elder shared engaging and relevant stories and photos of past work on toxic chemicals that will illustrate how current Great Lakes advocates can learn from the past.


1) Introduction, with land acknowledgement and description of CELA:
2) Polls & Housekeeping
3) Tim Eder Presentation
4) Jane Elder’s Presentation
5) Joyce McClean Presentation
6) John Jackson Presentation


Joyce McLean is a policy and communications leader with decades of experience providing strategic advice and government and media relations expertise across the range of energy, toxic chemicals, water quality and sustainability issues.  Former work experience includes stints within the Ontario Minister of the Environment’s office, Toronto Hydro, Greenpeace International, as well as running her own consulting company.   Board participation includes the IJC’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board, the Canadian Wind Energy Association, the Greenbelt Foundation and Green$aver.  Schooled in political science, marketing and journalism, Joyce makes her home in Toronto.

John Jackson has worked with citizens’ groups on environmental contamination, waste management, water quantity & quality issues, and citizen involvement & decision-making issues for the past 30 years. John was with Great Lakes United through its 30-year history, first as a board member for 24 years (six of those as president) and then as water programs director for six years. In these roles, he focussed on remedial action plans, Lakewide Management Plans, toxics, water levels, and water use.

John is also an expert on the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. He is chair of the Grand River Environmental Network, chair of the Canadian Advisors to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, a member of the Work Group on Substances for the National Pollutant Release Inventory, among other committees that he serves on. He served for six years as a member of the Environmental Appeal Board. Recently, John has been working with communities concerned about proposals for the disposal of radioactive wastes from the nuclear power plants.

Tim Eder is all about the Great Lakes — he has spent most of his career working to protect and restore North America’s freshwater seas. At Mott, he manages a grantmaking portfolio that addresses freshwater challenges, with a focus on the Great Lakes. Prior to joining the Foundation, he served 11 years as executive director of the Great Lakes Commission, which advises the region’s governors and the premiers of Ontario and Quebec on critical issues, such as invasive species, economic development and sustainability. Before joining the commission, Eder spent almost two decades working on Great Lakes and other freshwater issues for the National Wildlife Federation, a longtime Mott grantee. In his free time, he enjoys spending free time with family and friends at his favourite places on the lakes: A Lake Michigan beach in Sturgeon Bay during the summer; and the storm-tossed coast of Lake Superior, north of Marquette, during the winter. Eder is married and has two children.

Jane Elder is executive director of the Wisconsin Academy. She brings to the Wisconsin Academy a strong background in public policy leadership, nonprofit management, and involvement in Wisconsin arts. Her career has focused on environmental policy and communications, while personal interests include theater, modern dance and painting. Jane was the founding director of the Sierra Club’s Great Lakes program, and led the organization’s Midwest Office for many years, spearheading advances in water quality, air quality, and public lands protection in the region. She was the first recipient of Sierra Club’s Michael McCloskey Award, which honors “a distinguished record of achievement in national or international conservation causes.”