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2013 Forum

15th Annual Environmental Forum

Protecting Our Great Lakes Forever

We are thrilled to be bringing internationally renowned champion of water as a
human right, Maude Barlow, to Rochester as part of her Great Lakes Need Great
Friends tour. We'll continue the conversation started last year by Jim Olson,
the Michigan environmental attorney who has worked with Maude through his
organization, FLOW, to designate fresh water as a Commons for the benefit of

Thursday, April 25
Monroe Community College, The Theater, Bldg. 4
5:15-6:45 pm: Environmental Fair
7:00-9:00 pm:
Keynote Address by Maude Barlow and panel discussion with Maude Barlow, Jim Olson, Roger Downs and David Klein.
Free and Open to the Public (donations welcome)

Table Registration for Environmental Fair:

Name of your organization, and special requests such as power (limited availability):

* If you would rather pay by check, you can use this form.

Note:  this Environmental Fair is informational only, so no sales of goods or services, please!

Tables will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and the deadline for payment of your reservation is Friday, April 19th.

Forum Workshops

Registration Required - see below

Friday, April 26
Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
map here

Upon arriving at RIT, ask for a free visitor parking pass when you drive up to the Welcome Booth in the circle at the end of Henry & Carl Lomb Drive. (The Welcome Booth “WEL” is at grid F5 on the map, near parking lot D.)

Opening Workshop:

Please arrive at 8:30am-8:45am to sign in and network with others before the Plenary.

9:00am-10:15am, RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability (SUS on map, near parking lot T)

Maude Barlow & Jim Olson help us to sharpen our knowledge about protecting the Great Lakes.

Then choose one [all 3 in RIT’s Louise Slaughter Bldg. (SLA on map, an L-shaped building next to SUS)]:

Track 1, The Commons and the Public Trust, 10:30am-2pm:

We will apply these principles to several local issues: water transfers and diversions, hydrofracking, the BV7 lake level plan & more. We will examine how the Public Trust may be used as a tool to improve legislation and reform/supplement rules and regulations to preserve and protect the Great Lakes. We will begin to build a Great Lakes Basin Commons Watershed plan for our region!

Track 2, Water Steward Leadership Summit (students only), 12-2pm:

Sustainability issues will be discussed through the lens of water. Participants will have an opportunity to share the projects they are involved with, learn from each other and explore opportunities for coordinated efforts. Students involved with sustainability efforts on their campuses are invited to attend. Students may attend morning session of Track 1 or 3.

Track 3, Do It Yourself - At Home!, 10:30am-2pm:

Do your part to protect our fresh water!  In the morning, Kate Winnebeck of RIT’s Pollution Prevention Institute will answer: What’s really in your makeup, couch cushions, and cleaning products? How safe are your personal care products? Learn more about the ingredients that may be in these products, how they can affect your family and the environment, and easy, cost-effective ways we can reduce our exposure. 

In the afternoon, Patty Love of the Rochester Permaculture Center will present Your Home + Permaculture = Healthy Water for ALL, introducing the principles of permaculture design. Learn how you can easily apply them at home to capture and conserve water from all sources and return clean water to the watershed.

Post-Workshop Event Open to All Attendees, 2:30-4pm:

Site visit to Rochester Permaculture Center: 163 Helen Rd., 14623

Ecological water management on Red Creek. Tour Patty Love’s two year- old suburban food forest & homestead on the banks of Red Creek. See and learn about systems designed to foster the creek’s health and increase local watershed awareness.

Transportation - on your own. This is an outdoors event. Please dress appropriately.

Online registration closes Thursday 4/25 at NOON.
Registration by postal mail must be received by Thursday 4/25 at NOON.
To register after that, please leave a message on 585-234-1056 and bring $15 to the workshop sign in (Fri 4/26 8:30am).
You may also register at the Sierra Club table at MCC at the Forum 4/25 5:15-6:45pm.

Forum Workshop Registration (includes lunch)

* Students: For Track 2 (student leadership) please email

Registrant's name, and any special dietary needs:


Make a non-tax deductible* donation to help with Forum expenses— speaker honorarium/travel, printing, etc.


$100 – free full table for your organization and special recognition in the Program

$250 – above benefits plus Maude's latest book, Blue Covenant, signed by her

$500 – above benefits plus your name/logo on promotional materials & mention during the Forum

any amount – our gratitude for your help bringing this exciting event to Rochester

Note: Sierra Club - Rochester Regional Group, FLOW, and MCC & RIT have pledged funds and in-kind services totaling over $5500 of the projected approximately $8500 cost to bring this Forum to fruition. Your financial assistance is greatly appreciated to help to meet Forum expenses.

If you have any questions, contact  or call 585-234-1056. Your participation will help to make sure that progress is made on protecting our fresh water for all.

If not donating on-line, checks may be made to: Sierra Club, Rochester Regional Group, and mailed to: Sierra Club, Rochester Regional Group, ATTN: Environmental Forum, P.O. Box 10518, Rochester, New York 14610-0518

* Contributions, gifts, and dues to the Sierra Club are not tax-deductible: they support the Sierra Club's effective citizen based advocacy and lobbying efforts.


Want to learn more before the Forum?


Maude Barlow is the National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians and chairs the board of Washington-based Food and Water Watch. She is a founding member of the San Francisco-based International Forum on Globalization and a Councillor with the Hamburg-based World Future Council.

Maude is the recipient of 11 honorary doctorates as well as many awards, including the 2005 Right Livelihood Award (known as the “Alternative Nobel”), the Citation of Lifetime Achievement which she received at the 2008 Canadian Environment Awards, the 2009 Earth Day Canada Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award, the 2009 Planet in Focus Eco Hero Award, and the 2011 EarthCare Award, the highest international honour of the Sierra Club (U.S.).

In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly and was a leader in the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the UN. She is also the author of dozens of reports, as well as 16 books, including the international bestseller Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and The Coming Battle for the Right to Water.

Jim Olson

Attorney Jim Olson represented the Michigan Citizens for Water Conserva­tion (MCWC) of Mecosta County in their successful struggle to reduce over pumping from Nestle’s bottling operation, which was adversely affecting the Little Muskegon River and the level of two lakes.

Jim is also the chairperson of FLOW ("For Love of Water"), the Great Lakes Basin's only policy center. FLOW works to ensure the waters of the Great Lakes are protected now and for future generations by recognizing the Great Lakes as a commons, building deep public awareness and engaging the public and decision-makers about the threats and abuses facing the Great Lakes, and advancing public trust solutions to protect the rights of the people and waters of the Great Lakes Basin. Jim appeared along with Maude Barlow in the films Blue Gold: World Water Wars and FLOW: For Love of Water.

Roger Downs

Roger Downs is Conservation Director and New York State lobbyist for the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. Trained as a wetland ecologist, Roger traded in his hip waders to work in a different kind of morass, the Albany state legislature. He has directed campaigns to strengthen the clean water act, combat climate change and protect New York from hydrofracking. Contact:

David Klein

David Klein is senior field representative for The Nature Conservancy of Central & Western New York. He has worked for The Nature Conservancy for 17 years, including 12 years as director of the CWNY Chapter. Today, he works with a bi-national team of partners to develop and implement a conservation program for Lake Ontario.