Kevin Wordelman

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Gary Wager

Gary Wager

Executive Director
Gary is a native of Kalamazoo, and has lived and worked along and on the Kalamazoo River for over 64 years. He swam in the river as a small boy, fished in tributaries, owned property on Lake Allegan, and worked on a construction barge in Saugatuck. He has gained an intimate knowledge of the river and of the challenges of restoring the river to pre-industrial conditions. In 2007, after hearing the EPA-backed plan for cleaning up PCB contamination at Plainwell included dumping the toxic waste at a former paper mill site in Kalamazoo, Gary helped form a grassroots organization to oppose the plan. He organized nearby residents, neighborhood leaders, and city commissioners to enlist the help of state and federal representatives, in a successful campaign to compel the EPA to require polluters to pay to transport the material to approved landfills. In addition to his historical and institutional knowledge of the river and the Superfund process, he brings tireless leadership and commitment to the restoration of the health of the Kalamazoo watershed.
Michael Seals

Michael Seals

President/Treasurer
Michael is retired from Consumers Energy, and is the current representative for District 4 on the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners. A prominent community leader, he has served as Secretary and Treasurer of the Eastside Neighborhood Association, and held several leadership positions with Greater Kalamazoo United Way. In these roles, he is a tireless defender of our natural resources, especially the Kalamazoo River. He is also a 2010 graduate of the Leadership Kalamazoo program, a Kalamazoo Central graduate, and a U.S. Navy veteran. He was one of the first to bring attention to the hazards of transporting the PCB-contaminated sediments by truck through residential and central business districts of Parchment and Kalamazoo to be dumped at a former Allied Paper site, on the south side of Kalamazoo. His well-rounded engagement in civic life brings community connections and many opportunities for partnerships with all who care about the Kalamazoo River.
Jennifer Clark

Jennifer Clark

Secretary
As Director of Community Relations with Communities In Schools of Kalamazoo, Jennifer has been involved in a number of initiatives to foster its mission of connecting critical resources to students, including the development of “Girls on the Run.” She worked with the Homecrest Circle Neighborhood Association to prevent 132,000 cubic yards of contaminated waste from being dumped in the heart of Kalamazoo. During this time, she also created “Fighting PCBs with Poetry,” organizing readings of local poets to help give the community a voice in the cleanup and disposal of PCBs at the Allied site. Jennifer brings her 20 years of experience serving in leadership capacities with educational and behavioral health organizations to organize and rally all those concerned with the health of our community and our river.
Marla Fisher

Marla Fisher

Board Member
Marla performed research on health effects in fish from the Kalamazoo River Superfund Site as part of her doctoral degree in Biological Sciences from Western Michigan University. Marla's research was a key part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s funded Great Lakes Environmental and Molecular Sciences center to better understand risk assessment in the Kalamazoo River. Following her doctorate, Dr. Fisher worked as a postdoctoral research associate at North Carolina State University, where she applied new genomic technologies to examine the effects of pollution in natural fish populations, and then as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Hawaii. Her scientific expertise and intimate knowledge of the Kalamazoo Watershed are an essential skill set to understanding the risk and options for the future of our river.
Sarah Hill

Sarah Hill

Board Member
Sarah is a cultural anthropologist who examines patterns of disposal in order to see what discards can tell us about politics and culture. An Associate Professor in two departments at Western Michigan University, Sarah takes an active interest in a variety of local sustainability initiatives. Sarah organized a PCB forum at Western Michigan University that led to Kalamazoo residents further educating themselves so they could join together to successfully fight the Allied site battle. This event brought together our community and experts to learn more about the superfund site. Her knowledge of waste disposal and clean-up, her creativity and writing skills bring inspiration to her colleagues and board members to bridge the gaps between science and people, and the university and community.
Chuck Ide

Chuck Ide

Board Member
Chuck is a neurobiologist whose research focuses on how the environment influences gene activity in health and disease. He is the Gwen Frostic Professor of Biological Sciences, and the Director, Great Lakes Environmental and Molecular Sciences Center, at WMU. As a specialist in developmental and environmental neurobiology, Dr. Ide has studied the ecosystem and health effects of environmental contaminants for over 20 years,and the health effects of PCBs for nearly 10 years. He has led numerous research projects, with funding from EPA grants, specifically on the Kalamazoo Watershed. Chuck brings immense scientific expertise to our understanding of the impact of PCBs, and as an experienced educator, he knows how to disseminate meaningful scientific information to our community.
Denise Keele

Denise Keele

Board Member
Denise is a political scientist,specializing in environmental politics, who studies agency behavior and the use of the court system to achieve enforcement of environmental regulations. An assistant professor with a joint appointment in Political Science and Environmental Studies at WMU, Dr. Keele has led the departments outreach activities and serves as the adviser to student environmental groups on campus. Since joining the board in 2010, her contributions have varied from public education meetings to organizing Kanoe the Kazoo events. Since she teaches and researches the environmental laws, she brings a unique and in-depth legal and political perspective to help guide and orchestrate citizen advocacy for the Kalamazoo watershed.
Bill Wykhuis

Bill Wykhuis

Board Member
Bill is a small business owner and is deeply invested in his community of Allegan. He frequently attends the International Joint Commission biannual meeting throughout the Great Lakes watershed, and he received lobbying training and experience in Washington DC from the Alaska Wilderness League. He also serves on the board of directors of the Kalamazoo River Protection Association (KRPA). He has a particular interest in identifying people who regularly eat fish from the Kalamazoo River and educating them about the perils of PCB consumption. He also wants to involve Native American, Hispanic and other minority residents in the effort to cleanup the entire eighty-mile stretch of the Superfund Site. Bill brings a charge of inclusive diversity and a downriver perspective to the issues and reminds us all that the Allied site in Kalamazoo is just the beginning of the cleanup.
Jack Urban

Jack Urban

Government Advisor (EX-OFFICIO)
Jack has a PhD in chemical engineering, and is retired from Pharmacia Corporation. He served several terms as the representative for District 1 on the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners. His service to the community includes membership on the board of the Parks Foundation, and serving as chair of the Public Art committee for the Arts Council of Kalamazoo. Jack is also the former treasurer and current co-chair of the United Region Task Force for Interfaith Strategies for Advocacy and Action in the Community (ISAAC). He, along with other ISAAC members founded an organization known as Friends of Transit, which played an important role in a successful millage campaign to fund a public transportation authority for all of Kalamazoo County. Jack brings his political savvy, appreciation of the arts, and a diverse range of experience and scientific knowledge to his service as an adviser and advocate for our river.

Latest News

Earlier today, US Congressman Fred Upton visited the Allied site in Kalamazoo, along with local elected officials and representative from the EPA. WMU students […] Read More
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is considering multiple options for cleaning the site along the Kalamazoo River of polychlorinated biphenyls. Those options include […] Read More
Educational and informational displays, speakers, and demonstrations will be available to help you better understand and appreciate the land, water, and human resources […] Read More

Yard Signs!

Yard signs now available at Goodwill, 420 E. Alcott, or email glwager@gmail.com or call 382-0490, ext 271 M-F 10am - 5pm. M-F. CONTACT US

Portage Creek TCRA

$16 M Portage Creek cleanup completed ahead of schedule and under budget. Contact EPA Community Involvement Coordinator: Patti Krause

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PCB Superfund Site

For more information on the Allied Paper Inc. / Portage Creek / Kalamazoo River superfund site...

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