Restore Our Water International

The Great Lakes are in crisis!

Restore Our Water International (ROWI) is an alliance of American and Canadian organizations, small businesses and concerned citizens adversely affected by extreme high and low water conditions on each of the Lakes. We represent over 10,000 shoreline property owners and commercial interests.

Water level ranges on each of the Great Lakes have been modified by humans over the last 170 years to provide cost-effective transport of goods and services and to produce stable, plentiful and clean hydropower. Unfortunately, these modifications have permanently altered the system, increasing the incidence of flooding, erosion and droughts. Adequate compensation for these human changes has not been realized. The mission of ROWI is to restore the natural ranges of water levels on each of the Great Lakes and flows in the waterways that connect them. A more-natural system will be more resilient to a changing climate.

Our Board of Directors

Roger Gauthier

Chair, ROWI
Director, LCWC

Roger is a retired hydrologist, geospatial analyst and policy researcher who was employed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Great Lakes Commission. Roger brings over 45 years of professional expertise to ROWI along with a love for sports fishing and boating on the big lakes.  Roger is also an officer of the Straits of Mackianc Alliance, a shore property association focused on protecting northern lakes Michigan and Huron. He lives on the Straits of Mackinac and also is a member of SOS and the Great Lakes Coalition.

Mary Muter

Vice Chair, ROWI
Chair, Georgian Bay Great Lakes Foundation

Mary is a retired public health nurse and an ardent volunteer to several environmental protection programs around Georgian Bay over the last 30-plus years, including coordinator for Township of Georgian Bay water quality assessments research and facilitator of McMaster University’s wetlands and fishery research on the Bay. She is a former Vice President of the Georgian Bay Association Foundation, a Life Member of the Georgian Bay Association and a former member of Planning Committee for the Township of Georgian Bay. Working with hydraulic engineers, Mary led the research that first discovered changes in the St. Clair River conveyance that was impacting water levels on Lakes Michigan, Huron and Georgian Bay.  Mary has a family cottage on Georgian Bay in Lake Huron.

Roy Schatz

Secretary, ROWI
Vice Chair, Georgian Bay Great Lakes Foundation

Roy Schatz was President of the Pointe au Baril Islanders Association, then of the Georgian Bay Association, then the founding President of the GBA Foundation (now named Georgian Bay Forever), and currently Vice Chair of Georgian Bay Great Lakes Foundation. He also served for nine years as a Councillor for the Township of The Archipelago. Professionally, he is a retired educator: high school teacher of modern languages, then Ministry of Education official, and finally French course instructor at Glendon College of York University. He is a seasonal resident of an island in Georgian Bay.

Dave Wolf

Treasurer, ROWI
Director, Straits of Mackinac Alliance

Dave is retired police officer and currently works as a legal investigator. Dave is an avid sailor touring northern Lake Huron as his favorite realm.  Dave lives in Presque Isle, Michigan adjacent to Lake Huron having first-hand experience dealing with both extreme high and low lake levels.  His passion for the lakes infects all of his fellow directors.

Bill Bialkowski

Scientific Advisor, GBGLF

Bill is a retired professional engineer specializing in feedback control and system stability issues. Bill established a consulting firm that was later sold to a world leader in process automation. Bill has contributed to the engineering discipline by co-authoring a number of textbooks and international performance standards and has taught hundreds of process control engineers. His professional recognitions are extensive. Bill provides ROWI with valuable technical skills including mathematical modeling of the routing of levels and flows throughout the Great Lakes and the design of innovative control structures. Bill has a home on Georgian Bay with moorings for his float plane.

Paul Cowley

President, FOTTSA
Director, GBGLF

Paul has spent his entire life on the southern beaches of Georgian Bay. He brings many years of business experience from his sales and marketing software consulting business. He has a keen interest in the healthy growth and management of Georgian Bay. 

Ernie Krygier

President, SOS
Chair, Bay County Michigan Board of Commissioners

Ernie is an active local politician in Bay County, Michigan, having served as the chairman of the board for over 10 years.  Ernie’s leadership of the Save Our Shoreline advocacy organization is renowned having promoted shoreline property rights issues for decades. Ernie lives on the shore of Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron.

John Seagram

Director, GBGLA

John is a Past President of the GBA Foundation and the Sans Souci Association. He has been a Councilor for the Township of The Archipelago and Chair of the Township’s Environment Committee. As the Chair of the GBA’s water quality committee, he established a broad-based volunteer water quality monitoring program. John has a cottage on Georgian Bay in Lake Huron.

Jerry Smitka

GBGLF

Jerry is a retired fish biologist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and a former vice president of the Key River Area Association.  He is a member of the Atlantic Salmon Federation, Trout Unlimited Canada and a Science Advisor to the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program.  Jerry has a cottage on Georgian Bay in Lake Huron.

Michael Stoll

Director, LCWC

Michael is a retired technology business owner.  He is active in a host of environmental issues in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula over the last three decades.  Michael has a home on the northern shore of Lake Huron, having learned to adapt to extreme high and low water levels.  He has been active in supporting ROWI since its inception ten years ago.

Keith Termaat

President, TNN Board

Keith is a retired Executive Engineer for the Ford Motor Company. Keith has a home on Grand Traverse Bay in Lake Michigan.  He has been active in promoting sustainable management principles in his community.  Keith brings important management acumen and scientific curiosity to our Board.

Alan Weverstad

Director, SOS

Alan is a retired Executive Director of Environment, Energy and Safety with General Motors Corporation.  Alan has extensive lobbying experience in Michigan and Washington D.C. dealing with a wide variety of transportation issues.  Alan has a home on the shores of Lake Michigan on the Leelenau Peninsula. His vision is a big asset to the ROWI Board.