The Boardman-Ottaway River Network is dedicated to the preservation, protection, restoration, cultural significance, and sustainable use of the Boardman-Ottaway River and its 287-square mile watershed. This network acknowledges the significance of the Boardman River Watershed Prosperity Plan as a vision and framework for multijurisdictional cooperation to improve the environmental, economic, and social prosperity of the watershed region.
In 2020, over three dozen representatives of local organizations and jurisdictions participated in a discussion about what’s next for the Boardman-Ottaway River. Participants generated, ranked, and discussed high impact, high urgency issues that require coordination and resources to accomplish. This discussion validated the need for a coordinated network of expertise, resources, and leadership to accomplish big things. The identified need for organized cooperation is also reflected in the Boardman River Watershed Prosperity Plan – to create community ownership of the plan and community capacity to ensure the plan’s recommended actions are achieved.
In 2021, a Leadership Team was established from organizations committed to working together to facilitate the network. Members of the Leadership Team include:
- Amy Beyer, Director, Conservation Resource Alliance
- Jenna Scheub, Environmental Serviced Coordinator, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians
- Koffi Kpachavi, Executive Director, Grand Traverse Conservation District
- Christine Crissman, Executive Director, The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay
- Harry Burkholder, Chief Operations Officer, Traverse City Downtown Development Authority
The first meeting of the Boardman-Ottaway River Network took place in spring 2022. Everyone came together to discuss the intention and framework of the network and get to the important work of protecting the Boardman-Ottaway River and its watershed. Currently, meetings are scheduled biannually, with the next meeting scheduled for spring 2023.