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Mertz Tapped for Post on Great Lakes Commission
Ohio Ag Connection - 10/25/2021

Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Mary Mertz will take a lead role in preserving and protecting the Great Lakes after being named vice chair of the Great Lakes Commission during the group's annual meeting.

"I am truly honored to be given this opportunity to help protect these beautiful bodies of water," Mertz said. "I look forward to working more closely with the commission to implement our shared passion for the lakes and using that to keep them clean and safe for future generations to enjoy."

Mertz was appointed to her post at ODNR by Gov. Mike DeWine in January 2019. One of the highlights of her work is the implementation of DeWine's H2Ohio initiative, a focus on water quality for the entire state. She has been instrumental in advancing the program by launching an effort to restore and create wetlands in key locations across Ohio, initially focusing on the Lake Erie watershed. She was honored by the Nature Conservancy in April with the 2021 Public Service Award for her ability to advance concepts and programs that protect lands and waters across the state.

In addition to Mertz, commissioners elected Todd Ambs, deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, as its chair.

"I am excited to serve as chair after rejoining the Wisconsin delegation to the Great Lakes Commission two years ago," said Ambs. "As a longtime advocate for the lakes, I know that the GLC is a terrific forum for collaboration. I am particularly looking forward to working with our commissioners and partners as we draft our strategic plan for 2022-2027."

Since 1955, the Great Lakes Commission has worked with its member states and provinces to address issues of common concern, develop shared solutions, and collectively advance an agenda to protect and enhance the region's economic prosperity and environmental health.

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