ANN ARBOR, MICH. (October 30, 2020) – The Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition named Marnie Urso as co-chair of their governance board. Urso serves as the policy director of Audubon Great Lakes, a regional office of National Audubon Society, where she works to advance environmental and policy initiatives in the Great Lakes region. She will officially start her co-chair role on November 2, 2020.

“We are thrilled to welcome Marnie Urso as the new co-chair of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition,” said Laura Rubin, director of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “Her passion and expertise will be essential in our efforts to restore and protect the Great Lakes and to support the millions of people who rely on the lakes for their drinking water, public health, jobs, and quality of life. Federal investments in the Great Lakes are producing results, but serious threats remain. We look forward to continue our strong relationship with Audubon to make the restoration and protection of the Great Lakes a national priority.”

“Healthy waters mean healthy people, birds and wildlife,” said Urso. “I am honored to be named co-chair of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. Protecting and restoring the Great Lakes is critical for the health and quality of life of the region and nation. I look forward to working with the Coalition in this new role to work for the equitable protection and restoration of this vital resource for all who depend upon it.”

The Great Lakes still face great threats but thanks to Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition and its members, the region is cleaning up toxic pollution that threatens people and wildlife, reducing polluted runoff that causes harmful algal blooms, stopping invasive species that harm wildlife and outdoor recreation, reversing habitat destruction that harms the environment and hurts the economy, and fixing the region’s aging water infrastructure. Federal investments are producing results in communities across Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

As policy director of Audubon Great Lakes (a member of the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition), Urso leads conservation policy initiatives in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, working to mobilize Audubon’s 52 chapters and over 300,000 members across the region. Audubon Great Lakes works to conserve and restore the Great Lakes coastal ecosystem for the benefit of birds, other wildlife and people. Urso has been working to advance environmental public policy initiatives in the Great Lakes region and Washington DC for over 20 years – the last 15 of those with the National Audubon Society. Her primary focus over the course of her career has been state and federal policies focusing on Great Lakes restoration and climate change.

Audubon Great Lakes is a regional office of Audubon, learn more at and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive.

Since 2004, the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition has been harnessing the collective power of more than 165 groups representing millions of people, whose common goal is to restore and protect the Great Lakes. Learn more at or follow us on Twitter @healthylakes.