Lake Michigan, USA - Scott Sowa
My name is Scott Sowa, I’m from Michigan, I grew up in Muskegon, Michigan right near Lake Michigan. Currently I live in the Lansing area, I live and work in Lansing, Michigan. My waterbody that I guess that’s more near and dear to your heart is Lake Michigan but all the waters of the Great Lakes are near and dear to me.
Lake Michigan is multiple stories of having grown up close to it. I spend all seasons of the year particularly in summer, my family, my mom, my dad, my grandparents would take us down to Lake Michigan frequently. Even as I grew older as a teenager, it was the hang out for the teenagers. All through high school, junior high, I lived down there. I have many stories or memories of everything from being on the beach in the summertime to fishing off the piers down at Pere Marquette to just going and watching sunsets and getting ice-cream afterwards. There’s countless memories that all collect for me.
It’s mainly influenced me in terms of the passion I have for my work as an aquatic ecologist. It doesn’t matter, understanding how a waterbody can connect to an individual and how every individual’s connected to water in many ways. I think having that deep understanding, innate in me now - I take that with me when I’m studying agricultural non-point pollution in Lake Erie, or Saginaw Bay. To assessing brown water flows into unique fen habitat, which are groundwater dependant habitats in southern Michigan. To restoring connectivity up in the UP in the Two Hearted. It doesn’t matter where I work or even when I was in Missouri for 18 years and all of the beautiful Ozark streams. That passion carries with me.