Our world is relentlessly changing. Climate change, land use changes and decades of under investment are challenging our drainage system. The 825 drains in Allegan County need aggressive upgrades. Wind driven flooding of the Kalamazoo River must be addressed with a major structure at the river mouth.
· Upgrade many existing drain right of ways to high capacity two stage ditches
· Use modern computer models to predict flooding risk and respond aggressively
· Install sea gates along Lake Michigan to prevent storm surge flooding
· Build aggressive drainage systems in agricultural areas to facilitate planting and harvest
· Use modern tools like LiDAR surveying to charge responsible parties for drain maintenance after erosion events, applying market forces to reduce soil erosion and muddy rivers
· Consider new drainage districts and adoption of “Orphan Drains”
· Expand cooperation with the Road Commission, take more responsibility not less
· Spend 1 day per week with the maintenance crew to keep it efficient and safe.
· Seek to open government by engaging with drain boards, Lake Associations, local governments and schools to raise the profile of the Drain Office. Release more information on drain finances.
· Take Climate Change Seriously, 30% more rain is expected
· 12 years of service with the Allegan Conservation District
· BS Environmental Issues, Michigan State University
· Short Course Certificate in Grass Based Dairy, University of WI Madison
I was born and raised in Michigan. I have a BS degree in Environmental Issues from MSU and a one year certificate in Grass Based Dairy from UW Madison. I came to Allegan county in 2005 with my wife and founded Sand Lily Farms. We adopted a daughter in 2010. I’ve enjoyed working with area farmers through the Allegan Conservation District the past 12 years as a board member or employee. I also served a term on the Fennville Public School Board and the Clyde Township Planning Commission.
I was born on Mackinac Island
I'm a huge nature nerd. We have a little prairie at the farm and it thrills me to add new plants over time. I am constantly poking around for creatures with my nets and pans. I want to be the LORAX!