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John Hartig

John Hartig's "Burning Rivers" highlights triumph over tragedy

John Hartig talks with Kirk Heinze on WJR

By: Kirk Heinze

With all the current global unrest and budget-slashing malaise at home, it is not only refreshing, but even therapeutic to come across a tale of monumental good.

I recently interviewed the author of a compelling new book, Burning Rivers:  Revival of Four Urban-Industrial Rivers that Caught on Fire.

He is Dr. John Hartig, who, in addition to writing, serves as the Refuge Manager of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.  John has dedicated most of his life to water ecosystems preservation, and he is an optimist.  He believes in the power of people to affect change, and his story about the destinies of the Rouge, Cuyahoga, Buffalo and Chicago rivers since they each burst into flames is clearly one of triumph over tragedy.  It is the story of how everyday people, working alone or in concert with others, can move legal, political and bureaucratic mountains to do what is good and right for all of us.

John indicated that one of the great and unexpected rewards that came from researching and writing the book was learning about the unlikely “heroes” who were responsible for stemming the tide of environmental degradation and mobilizing the forces that would eventually begin restoring these four, urban-industrial rivers to health.  Ultimately, Burning Rivers is a story of hope fulfilled, and we can all use a good dose of that.

Please click on the arrow above to hear my February 27 Greening of the Great Lakes conversation with Hartig and join me Sunday evenings at 9 for Greening of the Great Lakes on News/Talk 760 WJR.  Please like us on Facebook, too, and follow us on Twitter.


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