Bill Latka

  • published EOY 2024-04-21 11:47:51 -0400

    Environmentalist of the Year Celebration

    2024 Awards & Celebration


    We had a wonderful celebration on Friday, April 19, 2024. David Milarch, Co-Founder of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, was our keynote speaker, and we had music from J Hobbs. Video coming soon.

    See the 2024 Recipients



  • published 2024 in EOY Recipients 2024-04-21 11:21:03 -0400

  • published Michigan's Climate Moment Webinar in Events 2024-03-23 12:44:52 -0400

    Michigan's Climate Moment Webinar


    About the Webinar

    Michigan is at a pivotal juncture in the face of escalating climate impacts. The recent surge in climate-related events has shattered the illusion of immunity, underscoring the urgent need for action. Amidst this backdrop, Governor Whitmer's ambitious energy legislation has ignited a battleground, pitting forward-thinking environmentalists against the entrenched interests of fossil fuel companies and the MAGA allies doing its bidding.

    This is not just a local issue; Michigan's fight is a microcosm of the global struggle against climate change. The decisions we make and the actions we take here have far-reaching implications for the planet's future.

    To navigate these turbulent waters, we're hosting an essential webinar with Peter Sinclair, a renowned climate communicator and advocate. Peter has been at the forefront of climate education, using his expertise to demystify complex issues and mobilize action. In this webinar, he will guide us through the intricacies of Michigan's climate challenges and outline the critical steps we must take to address them.

  • published Microplastics in the Great Lakes in Our Issues 2024-01-25 21:29:10 -0500

    Microplastics in the Great Lakes

    Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council, Michigan Sierra Club Clearwater Chapter, and For Love of Water present this look at the prevalence and threat of microplastics in the Great Lakes with Art Hirsch.

    Enjoy this webinar recorded on January 25, 2023.

    What Can You Do?

    Art mentioned that the number one thing you can do to help with the problem of microplastics is to contact your legislator and ask them to act. Here are the legislators who have shown an interest - don't hesitate to contact them.

    Michigan Representatives

    • Representative Betsy Coffia  517-373-3817
    • Representative Lorie Pohutsky 517-373-1530
    • Representative Rachel Hood 517-373-1790
    • Representative Jenn Hill 517-373-0498
    • Representative David Martin 517-373-0826
    • Representative David Prestin 517-373-0156
    • Representative Josh Schriver 517-373-0839

    Michigan Senators

    • Senator McCann 517-373-5100
    • Senator Sue Shink 517-373-2426
    • Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet 517-373-1725
    • Senator Sam Singh 517-373-3447
    • Senator Polehanki 517-373-7350
    • Senator Dan Lauwers 517-373-7708
    • Senator John Damoose 517-373-2413
    • Senator Jeff Irwin 517-373-3206
    • Senator Rosemary Bayer 517-373-2417
    • Senator Bumstead 517-373-1635
    • Senator Hauck 517-371-1760
    • Senator Rick Outman 517-373-3760

  • published Clean Energy Future Webinar in Events 2023-10-12 11:30:15 -0400

    Clean Energy Future Webinar

    Watch the October 11, 2023, webinar featuring Peter Sinclair. He dives into the state's Clean Energy Future bills and the troubling resistance to moving clean energy forward in Michigan.

  • published 2023 in EOY Recipients 2023-04-17 00:20:22 -0400

  • published 2022 in EOY Recipients 2023-03-22 23:43:01 -0400

  • published 2020-2021 Environmentalist of the Year in EOY 2023-01-10 14:29:08 -0500

    2020-2021 Environmentalist of the Year

    Over 100 people joined us on Zoom and participated in our live stream on April 20, 2022, from the Neahtawanta Center. Several NMEAC board members and award recipients joined us for a celebration.

    See this year's recipients listed here.

    See this year's nominees listed below.

    Everyone is a winner in our book. Thank you for your support and participation.


    Hover over the video timeline to navigate the video, or watch on YouTube for easy navigation.

    00:00 Welcome from Ann Rogers, NMEAC Chair
    00:56 Sally Van Vleck and "Founding Mothers," Martha Phillips and Charlene Goral
    04:22 Keynote: Kate Madigan, Director of Michigan Climate Action Network
    24:49 Music from Victor McNanemy - "Lament of the Lakes"
    34:32 Ann Rogers sets up the Awards
    35:50 Jeremy Reisig introduces Nominees and Recipients
    37:57 Environmentalist of the Year: Student - Katherine DePauw, Great Lakes Water Studies Institute
    39:52 Environmentalist of the Year: Educator - Cory Hanson, Greenspire School
    42:43 Environmentalist of the Year: Grass Roots Group - Jannan Cornstalk, Water is Life Festival
    46:24 Environmentalist of the Year: Journalism & Communications - Beth Wallace, National Wildlife Federation
    48:49 Environmentalist of the Year: Business - Bob Sutherland, Cherry Republic
    50:24 Environmentalist of the Year: Public Service Office - Kama Ross, Grand Traverse & Leelanau Conservation District
    50:38 Environmentalist of the Year: Professional - Kelly Thayer, FLOW For The Love Of Water
    55:16 Environmentalist of the Year: Volunteer - Madeline Baroli, Leelanau, Benzie, and Grand Traverse Conservation Districts
    58:01 Environmentalist of the Year: Volunteer - Aubrey Ann Parker, Benzie Water Festival
    59:55 Environmentalist of the Year: General - Rick Buckhalter
    1:02:49 Environmentalist of the Year: Agriculture - Barry Krull, Krull's Composting (accepted by Christina Speaks)
    1:07:55 John Nelson presents the John Nelson Watershed Steward Award - Tom Nelson, Leelanau Conservancy
    1:10:11 Ann Rogers presents the special Litigator of the Year - Holly T. Bird
    1:13:07 Susan Wheadon presents the Golden Beaver Award - Cathie Cline
    1:15:51 John Nelson presents the Clarence Kroupa Lifetime Achievement Award - Dori Turner, Watervale Inn (accepted by Glen Chown)
    1:21:36 Ann Rogers and David Petrove present the Golden Bulldozer Award - five of the Grand Traverse County Commissioners
    1:24:08 Ann Rogers introduces Terri Reisig to give the inaugural Greg Reisig Prize for Environmental Journalism - Dave Dempsey, FLOW For Love Of Water
    1:30:11 Farewell and a reading from Ann Rogers
    1:32:00 Farewell from Jeremy Reisig as he performs "Love."

    View the 2020-2021 EOY Recipients

    Download your copy of the Program.


    2020/2021 EOY Nominees

    Environmentalist of the Year - Student

    Rapid City Elementary Students
    Youth Water Council
    Katerine DePauw - Great Lakes Water Studies Institue

    Environmentalist of the Year - Educator

    James Dake - Grass River Natural Area
    Corey Hansen - The Greenspire School
    Joe Kreider - SEEDS
    Boone Scharp - Kingsley High School
    Amanda Scott - Youth Work Conservation Corps
    Emily Umbarger - Interlochen Center for the Arts
    Kimmee Wenkel - COGNiTiON Science & Discovery Center

    Environmentalist of the Year - Grass Roots Group

    David Christian - Antrim County Chain of Lakes Lake Level Committee
    Jannan Cornstalk - Water is Life Festival
    Rob Karner - Glen Lake Association
    Emily Votruba - MIFiberShed Team at Grow Benzie

    Environmentalist of the Year - Journalism and Communications

    Linda Dewey - Glen Arbor Sun
    Jeff Gibbs - Film: Planet of the Humans
    Kaye LaFond - Interlochen Public Radio
    Sheri McWhirter - Traverse City Record-Eagle
    Steve Tuttle - Northern Express
    Beth Wallace - Great Lakes Partnership Manager at National Wildlife Federation

    Environmentalist of the Year - Business

    Sarah Anderson - Iron Fish Distillery
    Matt Myers - M-22 Stores
    Bob Sutherland - Cherry Republic
    Dori Turner - Watervale Inn
    Jennifer Viren - Taproot Cider House

    Environmentalist of the Year - Public Service or Public Office

    Tim Arends and John Taylor - TCLP
    Mark Breederland  -Michigan Sea Grant
    Matt Flechter - Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy
    Craig Olsen - Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
    Mark Randolph - Kalkaska Conservation District
    Kama Ross - Grand Traverse and Leelanau Conservation Districts
    Nicole Schafer - Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

    Environmentalist of the Year - Professional

    Tom Nelson - Leelanau Conservancy
    Carolyn Thayer - Designs In Bloom
    Kelly Thayer - FLOW - For the Love of Water

    Environmentalist of the Year - Volunteer

    Madeline Baroli - Past student Intern for Forestry Assistance Program, Leelanau, Benzie and Grand Traverse Conservation Districts
    Fred Norman - Boardman River Clean Sweep
    Ingemar Johansson - Honor Area Restoration Project
    Suz McLaughlin - Benzie County community
    Sharon Oriel - Leelanau Conservancy
    Aubrey Ann - Parker Benzie Water Festival
    Seth Phillips - Manistee Lake Association
    Nicola Philpott - Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Westwood Elementary PTO President
    Charlie Weaver - NMEAC & Sierra Club
    Sarah Archer - Iris Waste Diversion Specialists

    Environmentalist of the Year - General

    Rick Buckhalter
    Alex Campbell - Bay Area Recycling for Charities
    Becky Alexander, Marilee Wood, and Lisa Snyder - Clarence and Esther Kroupa Family
    Emily Magner - Michigan League of Conservation Voters

    Environmentalist of the Year - Agriculture

    John Dindia and Bailey Samp - Lakeview Hill Farm
    Michelle Ferrarese - Birch Point Farm
    Barry Krull - Krull's Composting
    Jake Milarch - Archangel Ancient Tree Archive
    Ryan Romeyn - Providence Organic Farm
    Carissa Savage - Lost Lake Farm
    Chris Skellenger - Buckets of Rain

    Thanks to our Underwriters

    Advanced Roofing
    Gwenne and Len Allgaier
    brotha James
    Carpet Galleria
    CBS Solar
    C J Cracchiolo
    Jack and Lois Driscoll
    Nancy Duke
    Tom and Diane Emling
    Bill Gittlen
    Groundwork Center
    Herrington-Fitch Family Foundation
    Kima Kraimer
    Leslie Lee
    Light of Day Organics
    Angela Macke
    David Milarch
    Lynne Moon
    Neahtawanta Inn
    John Nelson
    Rebecca May Norris
    Allan O’Shea
    Oil & Water Don’t Mix
    Oryana Community Co-op
    Grant and Paulette Parsons
    Denis Pierce
    Royce Ragland
    Jeremy Reisig
    Terri Reisig
    Mike & Libby Robold
    Ann Rogers
    Barb Stamiris
    June Thaden
    Dori Turner
    Sally Van Vleck
    Watervale Inn

  • donated 2022-12-31 13:35:13 -0500

  • published Brandie Ekren Presentations in Events 2022-07-17 19:04:50 -0400

    Brandie Ekren Presentations

    Brandie Ekren, the new Executive Director of Traverse City Light & Power, spoke to NMEAC board members and supporters in July 2022 and again in January 2023. 


    Her presentation in January 2023 was about the TCL&P Climate Action Plan.


    Her talk in July 2022 was about her new role for Traverse City's municipal utility. 

  • published Climate Change in Our Issues 2021-10-26 23:20:13 -0400

    Climate Change

    Climate Change and Birds in Northwestern Michigan

    By William C Scharf

    Climate effects were evident in the local avifauna (bird populations) even before I arrived here in the 1960s. We now take for granted local year-around bird species such as Cardinals, Mourning Doves, Tufted Titmice, and House Finches. They are all recent arrivals here, coming from more southerly regions. More than purely temperature change has been involved in this story. Great increases in the human population have also brought about more winter feeding of birds. Recently, urbanized habitats have decreased migrant birds in Traverse City. Tall buildings lining the Boardman River on both sides make a narrow corridor for bird flight between walls of glass and brick. A local proliferation of woody plants which are alien to the region make a hostile environment. Trees such as Norway Maple, Colorado Blue Spruce, Siberian Elm, and Tree of Heaven have been planted and invaded widely on their own. Additionally, invasive shrubs such as Japanese Honeysuckle, Autumn Olive, and Eurasian Burning Bush have spread through incentives from federal agencies and local nurseries. These species do not support insect life for food or provide nesting habitat necessary for our native bird species.

    We have captured and banded over 7,000 migrating birds at a preserve near Empire over the past 11 years. Our sample totals 102 species. Many were sparsely known from our area previously. Some of the 102 species are already bird species in peril. One recently captured bird, the Rusty Blackbird, has already decreased 89% in the last ten years by international census estimates. Continuation of our project will show the increase and decrease in migratory species moving through this location. It is already apparent that long-distance migrant birds are suffering declines on their way to and from the tropics where they spend most of their lives. Habitat destruction, pesticides, building collisions, deforestation, and cats are only a partial list of the perils they face on their journey.

    The local high-water levels flooding their nesting sites have negatively affected waterfowl, Gulls, Terns, and Herons. This is attributed to extra precipitation from warming waters due to climate change. The water levels were so high last year in early May that waves swept over Bellow Island near Northport washing the nests of Herring and Ring-billed Gulls away. Fortunately, those birds were able to re-nest last year, but repeated losses will take a negative toll. Meanwhile, we have been testing eggs from Herring Gulls and they show a decrease in the bio-magnification of toxicity that was extremely high in the past. This can only mean greater survival for the birds, and less toxic materials in the food chain which all aquatic life depends on. Formerly endangered American Bald Eagles show modest gains in nesting success, as well as do hawks and owls. But, as habitat dwindles due to urbanization and as their prey decreases in numbers, they too may become species of concern.

  • published 2020-2021 in EOY Recipients 2021-09-25 00:31:55 -0400

  • Watch Climate Change Solutions with Peter Sinclair

    Watch Peter Sinclair's Climate Change Solutions 2021 webinar held on February 26, 2021.

    Read more

Producing & directing TV shows, commercials, videos, but mostly trying to make things on this planet better for you and me.


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