Climate resilience in the Quad Cities region
Maggie Bruns & Nina Struss, Prairie Rivers Network, Urbana
In this talk, Nina Struss and Maggie Bruns will share highlights of the Quad Cities Climate and Vulnerability Assessment, the region’s first effort to identify environmental factors that threaten the vulnerable people in Rock Island (IL), Moline (IL), Davenport (IA), and Bettendorf (IA). With nature-based solutions and strong local commitment, the plan promises to bolster the Quad Cities’ resilience in the face of climate change.
Maggie Bruns, Executive Director, Prairie Rivers Network, As Executive Director, Maggie works closely with the PRN board, staff, members, and partners to carry out our mission. She is leading PRN to a bigger, bolder future as we work to protect water, heal the land, and inspire the change that both science and justice require of us in this moment. She believes we must fully implement historic legislation like Illinois’ Climate and Equitable Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act to help make our communities more resilient in the coming years. Maggie got her start in environmental advocacy at PRN as a student volunteer helping to organize our river clean ups and providing general office support. Almost 20 years later, Maggie now has years of experience working on local, state, and federal environmental campaigns and programs. Maggie’s tenure at the League of Conservation Voters in Washington, DC, included managing the executive office and serving as liaison to the board of directors, directing and mentoring grassroots organizers, leading multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns, and transforming LCV’s communication strategies to authentically engage a wider, more diverse audience through a cultural lens. After 16 years living in DC, she’s excited to bring her focus back home to Illinois. Education: B.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Nina Struss, River Health & Resiliency Organizer, Prairie Rivers Network. As the current River Health and Resiliency Organizer for Prairie Rivers Network I work to advance nature-based solutions specific to river health in the Quad Cities region. I educate, engage and activate the public and community leaders about the benefits of natural river, wetland, and floodplain functions and their impacts on the Quad Cities. Previously I worked as a Registered Dietitian and Intuitive Eating Counselor focusing on improving the overall health and wellness of the Quad Cities community through nutrition education, community presentations, public events, and media relations. I currently serve as a Board Member of NEST Café, (Nourish Everyone Sustainably Together), the first pay-what-you-can restaurant in the Quad Cities. I am passionate about making nutrition education and environmental change as equitable as possible. I believe ALL foods fit as part of a nutritious diet and am passionate about helping to fight food insecurity and promote sustainability in our eating habits that also improve our impact on climate change. I am happiest when I am outdoors enjoying the sunshine either hiking, walking, gardening or relaxing with a good book. Education: B.S. in Nutrition and Dietetics from Western Illinois University – Macomb