Board of Directors
Fred E. Cowles, P.E.
Fred Cowles is an environmental engineer and owner of Cowles Environmental. Cowles Environmental specializes in assistance to municipalities regarding stormwater management and other water pollution control issues. Fred previously worked for the consulting firm of Fishbeck Thompson Carr and Huber, and prior to that had an extensive career with Michigan’s water pollution control regulatory programs. He has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Master of Environmental Health from the University of Michigan, and a Masters of Public Administration from Western Michigan University. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Michigan.
Fred grew up in Detroit and has been a Lansing Area resident since 1972. He enjoys wilderness paddling, having paddled the Allagash River in Maine, the Boundary Waters in Minnesota, the Quetico in Ontario, the Buffalo River in Arkansas, the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia, and many of Michigan’s rivers. He is an avid geocacher and enjoys travelling with his wife, Karen.
Retired from both Michigan DNR (1997) and Michigan State University (2008). At MSU, he held joint appointments with Kellogg Biological Station, Plant and Soil Science and Cooperative Extension. As Water Quality Specialist, conducted research and community education on various water quality and quantity issues. Taught environmental protection units of graduate and undergraduate courses in parks and recreation, fisheries and wildlife, forestry and turf grass management. Undergraduate and graduate student advisor.
With DNR: Park Manager/Conservation Officer at various properties; Chief of Rivers, Lakes and Streams Protection; and State Forests Ecosystems Leader. Many of these duties were regulatory in nature, which he approached as educational challenges. Coordination with federal and other state agencies, local government, private landowners, industry, the courts and non-profit organizations.
Between DNR and MSU, self-employed consultant: provided watershed planning and public involvement expertise to the National Park Service, and the states of Pennsylvania and Delaware; and designed and managed Rivers 2000, a yearlong celebration of North America’s rivers and watersheds. This project included a seven-month river event where citizens “Passed the Paddle” from state to state, and to Mexico and Canada.
Served as a medic in the US Coast Guard Reserve, earned a BS in Parks and Recreation from Indiana University, and a Masters in Natural Resources Policy from Michigan State University, specializing in law and economics. Has held numerous leadership positions at the state and national levels, including President of River Management Society. Currently serves on national RMS committees on “Curriculum and Scholarship” and “Public Policy”. Doug has been recognized nationally and statewide for contributions to river and watershed protection. A regular presenter at statewide, regional and national conferences and workshops. And yes, he is well published.
Doug’s been a Grand River Watershed resident for 44 years, and a riparian landowner for 27. With DNR, worked with the original Grand River Watershed Council, and Natural River planning efforts on the Thornapple, Rogue and Flat rivers. He was on the Board for all three Grand River Expeditions: 1990 – Natural Resources Chair, and coordinator of all DNR/DEQ involvement; 2000 – Chair of Recognition Committee; 2010 – Expedition Chair. After GRE 2010, he spearheaded efforts to form both MGROW and the Grand River Watershed Partnership.
Duties include taking board meeting minutes, fund raising, spokesperson, and communications.
Loretta currently works as Business Manager in the Text Management unit of Michigan State University libraries. She’s a veteran freelance publishing consultant including concept, design, layout, printing, marketing, and distribution; internet publishing including site creation, blogging, e-commerce, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media marketing. In 2015 she retired after 26 years of teaching college-level writing at Lansing Community College and Davenport University. A member of the State Bar of Michigan, she spent six years with the Michigan Office of the Attorney General’s Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Division, providing counsel on environmental law and policy to state agency clients. She continues to run a limited solo practice in environmental law, property law, and nonprofit organizations. She holds a Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from Northern Michigan University.
Duties include grant and fund raising activities, keeping all financial records.
Environmental Quality Analyst, MDEQ/DNRE/DNR (retired). Reviewed proposals for state and federal nonpoint source grants. Assisted with development of technical manuals for nonpoint source pollution and storm water runoff controls. Developed measures of success for water quality programs. Administered grants for storm water training seminars and manuals. Coordinate municipal storm water permitting activities statewide. Provided regulatory and technical advice to the Storm Water Program Coordinator, Division management, and staff. Develop administrative rules and written storm water guidance. Assisted with statutory revisions. Provided storm water seminars for municipal and industrial permittees. Provide permit compliance assistance by telephone and email. Assisted local governments with storm water control issues. Served as Michigan’s Storm Water Program liaison with U.S. EPA. Represent Michigan at National Storm Water Coordinators’ Meetings. Developed and conduct training for storm water district staff.
Master of Science in fishery science, 1985, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Bachelor of Science in biological science, 1981, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan.
Duties include fund raising, liaison for associated organizations.
Science teacher (retired)
Grand River Expedition 1990, 2000, 2010
Founder of Friends of the Looking Glass River Watershed 1990
County Conservation Board. – Tri County GMB
Co-founder of Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council (MidMEAC), Greater Lansing Recycling
Watertown Charter Township trustee (12 years)
Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Michigan State College/Michigan State University
Cliff Walls is an environmental planner for the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission specializing in stormwater management, non-point source pollution prevention, and public outreach. Previously, he was a field scientist working in consulting where he performed aquifer testing, vapor intrusion sampling, and soil classification for a hundreds of commercial developments and EPA Brownfield projects. He earned a B.A in Social Relations and Policy and B.S in Environmental Economics from Michigan State University.
A life-long Mid-Michigander and long-time Lansing resident, Cliff enjoys the variety of recreational opportunities available throughout the Great Lakes region. His interest in watersheds has inspired him to experience two of North America’s foremost water drainage and divide systems up close, having completed a 2,400 mile “Source-to-Sea” canoe trip of the Mississippi River in 2011 and a 2,700 mile, three-nation mountain bike tour down the spine of the Continental Divide in 2016.
Paul Brogan is a small business owner who opened River Town Adventures in 2014 along the Grand River in downtown Lansing as a full service livery and boat shuttle service. River Town provides opportunities for paddling adventures on a combined 35 miles of the Grand and Red Cedar Rivers. He is a lifetime resident of Lansing and has formed a strong bond with the local paddling and outdoor recreation communities. Paul serves on the board of the Friends of the Lansing Regional Trails, as well as MGROW.
Paul is passionate about environmental stewardship and education. He founded the Lansing Earth Project in partnership with MGROW in 2017 to make volunteer river cleanups a regular part of life in Lansing. Since its inception, the Project has organized more than a dozen river and land clean-ups every year and has collected thousands of gallons of trash. The overall goal is to have a cleaner watershed to create a stronger bond between people and their local rivers and parks.