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waterloop #129: Toledo's Turnaround From Toxic Algae

Updated: Jan 26


In 2014, a toxic algae bloom in Lake Erie forced the shutdown of Toledo’s drinking water system, cutting off the vital service for 400,000 people. In the years since, the City of Toledo responded by forging partnerships to monitor conditions in the lake, investing in upgrades to infrastructure and water treatment, and communicating in a transparent and comprehensive manner with the public.


The lessons learned and level of preparedness is discussed in this episode with Patekka Bannister, Commissioner of Operations for the City of Toledo Department of Public Utilities. Patekka also explains how water managers from around the country and world often consult Toledo about how to deal with toxic algae blooms and how the experiences shaped her perspective as a water leader.


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About

Water is vital to our health, communities, environment,

and economy. But there are tremendous challenges to the

quality and quantity of our water. Public awareness, concern, and action on water must increase. 


waterloop aims to be part of the solution by presenting conversations and commentary in a podcast about water in our lives and on our planet.


waterloop highlights the importance of water, explores various pressures, and shares positive success stories.

The Team
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Travis Loop

President, Founder, and Host

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Travis Loop has 20 years of high-level experience in communications and media, with a focus on water and environmental issues. He is currently the communications director for the Water Environment Federation, a global nonprofit with 35,000 water professionals as members. Travis formerly directed water communications at the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency in Washington, D.C. and managed public affairs for EPA’s Chesapeake Bay restoration program in Annapolis, Md. He also served as the speechwriter and communications manager for the Governor of Hawaii. Travis began his career as a newspaper
reporter and editor, working for eight years in North Carolina, Virginia, and Hawaii. He has a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

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Ellen Gilinsky

Treasurer

Baron Sekiya

Secretary

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The Advisors
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Joel Beauvais

Vice President & Deputy General Counsel

Environment, Health & Safety at Exelon

Angela Code

Documentary Filmmaker

Member of Sayisi Dene First Nation

George Hawkins

Founder and Executive Director
Moonshot Missions

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Corrie Heck Scott

Director Global Communications

Providing Food and Water Sustainably

The Nature Conservancy

Micah Ragland

Director of Corporate Communications

DTE Energy

Dr. Wallace J Nichols

Founder
The Live Blue Foundation

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Noah Sabich

Managing Director

Cimbria Capital

Mark Schleifstein

Environmental Reporter

The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com

Nancy Stoner

President

Potomac Riverkeeper Network

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