At the fifth Great Lakes Economic Forum, which was hosted from May 5-8, 2019 in Cleveland, the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR) presented its first Great Lakes Changemaker Awards to the following recipients:

  • SC Johnson
  • Congressman Dave Joyce, 14th District, Ohio
  • Ambassador Bruce Heyman (retired) and Vicki Heyman
  • Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation
  • Swim Drink Fish Canada

“The binational Great Lakes are a crucial economic region and watershed for the United States and Canada,” said Mark Fisher, president and chief executive officer of CGLR. “Through the new Great Lakes Changemaker Award, the Council is pleased to be able to recognize people, organizations, and companies each year who share our vision of creating the most prosperous, innovative, sustainable, livable, and welcoming region in the world.”

With 20 per cent of the worlds surface freshwater, the Great Lakes makeup a globally significant ecosystem. They sustain thousands of unique habitats, plants, and animals. The lakes also provide drinking water to over 40 million Americans and Canadians living in the Great Lakes watershed, and support the regional economy, from marine commerce and hydropower, to fishing and recreational boating.

CGLR created the Great Lakes Changemaker Award in 2019 to recognize individuals, companies, non-profit organizations, or academics that are leading the way in strengthening the long-term competitiveness and sustainability of the binational Great Lakes Region. The award also recognizes those who are playing a leadership role internationally on a range of economic and environmental issues.

“Over 40-million people rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water, employment, recreation, tourism, and economic prosperity. This watershed is the lifeline for so many of us,” said Mark Mattson, founder of Swim Drink Fish. “The Great Lakes are our Rocky Mountains. It’s a true honour to receive the Great Lakes Changemaker award. Swim Drink Fish continues to strive for a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future.”

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