The Great Lakes Hazards Coalition (GLHC) serves the region through the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, in addition to the province of Ontario. The region is unique, as it is one of the nation’s major regional industrial, economic, agricultural and institutional centers, in addition to being a transportation hub via water, land or air with a large global standing. The Brookings Institution states that the Great Lakes economy would be one of the largest economic units on earth (with a $4.5-trillion gross regional product) with an estimated 54 million people.
How and when was your partnership formed?
In 2008, Brigadier General (Ret) Mike McDaniel, formerly Michigan’s first Homeland Security Advisor and then the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Homeland Security, Department of Defense, along with other key stakeholders of four states secured a homeland security grant and financial support for the Great Lakes region. With the need throughout the region for critical infrastructure protection; identifying and building public and private sector relationships; enhancing informational channels; collaborating through exercising, testing and training; and, protecting economic enterprises the group ultimately formed the Great Lakes Hazards Coalition.
How many members are currently in your partnership?
Currently, we have 300 plus public and private members and stakeholders that we regularly share information with and also seek their input. They represent provincial, federal, state, tribal and local government, in addition to business and nongovernmental organizations of professional, operational and technical nature across a wide range of disciplines.
What three words would you use to describe your partnership?
Service. Engagement. Partnership.
GLHC is an organization of service, engagement and partnership. The GLHC Board of Directors seeks opportunities to provide service through engagement and partnership in the Great Lakes region via its mission, values and goals.
What are the future goals for your partnership?
The Great Lakes Hazards Coalition pursues:
- Promoting and enhancing CIKR protection and resiliency efforts
- Improving information sharing and communications region-wide
- Providing the foundation for regional cross-sector collaboration
- Enhancing preparedness and response needs
Equally, the GLHC’s Mission affirms that we are, “A mutually beneficial association of public and private sector stakeholders collaborating to reduce the vulnerabilities of the Great Lakes Region for our citizens, communities and nations.”
How has your partnership advanced critical infrastructure protection in your community?
The Coalition provides white papers, exercises, training, webinars, conferences and studies, along with sharing the latest trends, concepts and relevant information on critical infrastructure protection and resiliency, in addition to collaborating on various initiatives. For example, we recently became the lead organization for advancing maritime commerce and security for the Great Lakes region in partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard and Transport Canada via the “Beyond the Border: USCanada Maritime Commerce Resilience Initiative”. This binational initiative will bring together the states and provincial’s public and private stakeholders to strengthen resilience and the ability of maritime commerce to recover.
What is one of the biggest challenges that you have as a public/private partnership?
Typically, most partnership organizations face unique challenges. For example, that the information being shared with its stakeholders is accurate, timely and relevant; that the various program services are building relationship sustainability; that the leadership doesn’t stray from the mission; and, that seeking continued funding is critical to partnership growth.
Who is your representative to the RC3?
Brit Weber, Executive Coordinator of GLHC.
How can members contact you?