MSU Extension Key Partner Award honors the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments

Regional planning partnership organization's work enhances many different Extension programs.

SEMCOG received a Key Partner award from MSU Extension. From left, Heather Triezenberg (Sea Grant), SEMCOG's Kevin Vettraino, Bill Parkus, Amy Mangus, Tyler Klifman, Devan Rostorfer, and Extension educator Mary Bohling. Photo: Cindy Hudson | Sea Grant

SEMCOG received a Key Partner award from MSU Extension. From left, Heather Triezenberg (Sea Grant), SEMCOG's Kevin Vettraino, Bill Parkus, Amy Mangus, Tyler Klifman, Devan Rostorfer, and Extension educator Mary Bohling. Photo: Cindy Hudson | Sea Grant

Michigan State University Extension is well known for the support and programming it provides in many rural areas of Michigan. But Extension programs also play a critical role and have a long history in many urban areas, too. The very first Wayne County Extension 4-H agent was appointed in 1917. In the Detroit area some current programs involve working with food systems, children and youth, housing and foreclosure issues—and through Extension’s Michigan Sea Grant, a variety of natural resource programs.

Since 1991, Michigan Sea Grant’s Great Lakes Education Program has provided classroom and vessel-based education for K-12 students in southeastern Michigan. Also, Summer Discovery Cruises offer education programs that are open to the public. Michigan Sea Grant also partners with many organizations in the Detroit area, including Friends of the Detroit River, Downriver Linked Greenways Initiative, and the International Wildlife Refuge Alliance.

Recently, one of our important partners received an MSU Extension Key Partner award during the 2017 Fall Extension Conference held in Detroit.

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) is a regional planning partnership of governmental units that serves 4.7 million people in the seven-county area surrounding Metropolitan Detroit. SEMCOG supports coordinated local planning with technical, data, and intergovernmental resources. The principle purpose of SEMCOG is to help local governments improve and maintain Southeast Michigan’s transportation systems, environmental quality, economic interests, and infrastructure, a purpose that complements the work of Michigan State University Extension and Sea Grant.

SEMCOG works with many different MSU Extension staff including tourism, public policy,  and local food and housing educators who are able to use the plans and data the group develops. The group’s environmental team, led by Amy Mangus, has partnered with Michigan Sea Grant Extension for more than 15 years on a variety of programs and projects including invasive species management, Blue-Green economy, nonmotorized transportation, and green infrastructure code audits. SEMCOG’s participation has been critical in helping Michigan Sea Grant reaching its target audience.

During the recent conference in Detroit we had the opportunity to thank SEMCOG staffers for their partnership in enhancing Extension’s work by providing new and unique opportunities to increase visibility and helping us develop relationships with community leaders and decision-makers.

We appreciate the dedication, enthusiasm and assistance of the SEMCOG leadership and staff and thank them for being an excellent Key Partner with Michigan Sea Grant and MSU Extension.

Michigan Sea Grant helps to foster economic growth and protect Michigan’s coastal, Great Lakes resources through education, research and outreach. A collaborative effort of the University of Michigan and Michigan State University and its MSU Extension, Michigan Sea Grant is part of the NOAA-National Sea Grant network of 33 university-based programs.

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