Janis Bobrin honored by Ecology Center for service to Washtenaw County and its citizens
Water resources commissioner receives Munzel Award
Janis Bobrin, who has long been Michigan's most innovative guardian of clean water, received the Ecology Center's Herbert L. Munzel Award for Environmental Activism at the organization's annual fall event earlier this month.
Nearly 200 supporters of the Ecology Center attended the event, which featured a presentation by UCLA Prof. Richard Jackson, an influential
scholar on the impact of urban design and environmental risks on public
Washtenaw County's Water Resources Commissioner for more than 20
years, Bobrin introduced sustainable approaches to stormwater management
and public education efforts to promote water stewardship. She was
re-elected five times and is retiring at the end of this year.
Bobrin transformed the way Michigan's local governments deal with
water, perhaps our most critical natural resource," according to Michael
Garfield, director of the Ecology Center. "Before her, drain
commissioners and other local officials worked
to build and maintain drains and storm systems. Today, they focus on
the protection of drinking water and surface water quality through
enlightened stormwater management and ecological restoration."
The Ecology Center's Herbert L. Munzel Award for Environmental Activism
was created in 2004 to honor "inspirational, courageous, and effective
community-based advocacy by a Michigan resident for clean air, safe
water, and healthy communities over many years." The award is named
after a long-time southeast Michigan resident who fought for clean air
and water for more than 40 years.
one does this kind of work alone---watershed planning and
implementation, stream restoration, changing ordinances and legislation,
getting ballot initiatives passed to preserve open space and natural
areas---all this work takes a committed community. And that’s what I
have had the honor to be a part of," Bobrin said after being presented with the award.
colleagues around the state, are both jealous and pretty amazed at what
happens around here, the innovative environmental protection projects
and programs we’ve undertaken. They ask me how I manage to get public buy-in and support. I
can answer them that this community doesn’t just support the work we do
to protect and restore waterways and other natural resources: they
expect it. If I’ve been successful, it’s because of the community in
which I work."
EcoLink — October 2012 Ecolink An online publication of the Ecology Center