Here’s A Book About the Value of Rivers in Our Great Lakes Region – Just When We Need It

A Brief Introduction to this Well-Timed  Book and its Author by Doug Draper

Posted September 27th, 2021 on Niagara At Large

Among the few individuals left from the golden era of modern-day environmentalism to write about book about the need to protect and preserve our Great Lakes rivers, who better to do it than Margaret Wooster.

Margaret Wooster, an ecologist by trace, was the last executive director of Great Lakes United, a large Canada/U.S. coalition of public and private sector organizations around the Great Lakes basin that was founded in 1982 with a mission to advocate for the health of the lakes for the tens-of-millions of people living around them.

Tragically, Great Lakes United (GLU) and its voice for multi-dozens of public and private bodies in both countries, died in 2013, at a time when the environmental movement driven from the first Earth Day in 1970 was running up against walls of apathy, and relentless push backs from special interests with a mind to exploiting lands around the Great Lakes.

Now here is former GLU director Margaret Wooster with a book that aims at bringing the spirit of saving the ecology in the Great Lakes basin back.

The book is called ‘Meander – Making Room for Rivers’. And you can find out more about the book and how to get a copy below –


Meander tells the story of the Great Lakes region’s experiment in restoring a complicated natural system of flowing water.

The author and ecologists Margaret Wooster at the oxbow wetland on Buffalo Creek, featured in her new book, Meander.

Drawing on her own experience as a watershed planner, teacher, and Great Lakes activist, Margaret Wooster describes the language, history, and failures of many of our water management policies.

She then turns to Buffalo Creek to teach us how the Great Lakes work–from a “hill made of water” to a cut-off oxbow to a buried delta transitioning from two centuries of industrialization. Wooster explores how, on the Niagara Frontier especially, traditional ecological knowledge and Indigenous values were suppressed by colonial rules of settlement.

The ecosystem value of physical integrity–or connectivity between upstream and down, surface flow to aquifer, river to land was never fully unpacked. While our management policies often sever them, these connections are key to Buffalo Creek and Great Lakes recovery and resilience. Wooster leaves us with the idea that it is up to us, the people who live along these flows and in their watersheds, to learn as much as we can about these connections and to use our local authorities to “make room for rivers” and protect our planet’s circulatory system for future generations.

Margaret Wooster

About the Author – Margaret Wooster has worked as a watershed planner for local governments and environmental groups in Western New York, was a founding member of Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, and has taught Environmental Planning at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. She is the author of Living Waters: Reading the Rivers of the Lower Great Lakes, also published by SUNY Press. She lives in Buffalo, New York.

You can also order Meander through Talking Leaves Books website using this link – and support an independent locally-owned bookstore!

Or from SUNY Press

Please note: whether you order from the press or Talking Leaves, delivery may be delayed by current shortages in paper and distribution capacity. Please be patient. We have a long, cozy reading winter ahead of us!

To read an article mourning the final days of Great Lakes United, click on the following link – .

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.