The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Great Lakes Legislative Caucus

Loreen Niewenhuis is an author, adventurer, and dynamic speaker. 

She has completed a trilogy of 1,000-mile adventures exploring the Great Lakes and has authored three books about these adventures: 

A 1,000-Mile Walk on the Beach  [A Heartland Indie Bestseller]

A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Walk   [Winner of the Great Lakes Great Reads Award] 

A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure  [Long-listed for the Chautauqua Prize]


To learn more about her work, or to engage her as a speaker, go to

This September, I was honored to speak at the annual meeting of the 
Great Lakes Legislative Caucus
in Erie, Pennsylvania.
This is the group of state and provincial legislators who came together to hammer out the 
Great Lakes Water Compact 
a decade ago. This protective agreement governs how and when the waters of the Great Lakes can be used.

My badge and name placard for my place at the table

This group of about 50 legislators meets annually to share information about legislation pending or passed in their respective states/provinces, to learn about new issues in the region, and to take action on threats to our Great Lakes.

The room where it happened

The items currently on the policy agenda for this group are:
Water Consumption -- especially with regard to safe drinking water throughout the GL basin
Aquatic Invasive Species -- including preventing Asian Carp from entering our GL and strengthening laws on ballast water
Toxic Substances -- including support for continued funding of the GLRI and monitoring emerging contaminants
Nutrient Pollution -- working to decrease nutrient runoff from agricultural land into the GLs and their tributaries
Coastal Communities -- supporting sustainable economic development within the GL basin, including restoration and preservation of habitat

Legislators at work

 It is notable and laudable that this is a non-partisan effort. Legislators from all eight Great Lakes States along with two Canadian Provinces come together for the good of our Great Lakes.

My books were featured for sale after my presentation

My presentation about the islands of the Great Lakes was enjoyed by all and this group had wonderful questions after the talk.

Bicentennial Tower in the harbor in Erie, PA

Traveling to Pennsylvania for this speaking gig means that I have travelled to ten states for speaking engagements! 

To inquire about engaging me as a speaker at your event, please email me at:

To learn more about my dynamic Great Lakes presentations, go to

"Loreen took our audience on an adventure that was engaging, educational, and entertaining. A few attendees were inspired to consider taking their own treks, or to join Loreen on her next adventure. We were fortunate to have found her. I'm sure future speaking engagements will result from Loreen's impressive performance at the Great Lakes Legislative Caucus meeting."

-Lisa Janairo, Program Director
The Council of State Governments

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