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Wednesday April 16, 2014
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River Hero

 

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nearby, but the river--just a few steps away--is her true domain.

Everything about the Huron concerns Rubin, but the view isn't always this peaceful. For nearly a decade, HRWC advocated removing Argo Dam to restore this part of the river to its free-flowing state. The rowing clubs that use the pond sprang to its defense, and "it became a shouting match," she recalls. Faced with a state ultimatum to remove the dam or fix its failing millrace, City Council voted in 2010 to turn the millrace into the Cascades.

"The city's the ultimate decision maker," says Rubin, who was recently named a "River Hero" by the national River Network. "Uses of the river change over time, and it's about the values of the community."

Former councilmember Leigh Greden says that philosophical attitude is typical of Rubin's "passionate but pragmatic" approach. A fit forty-eight-year-old with freckles and auburn-colored hair, she heads a staff of eleven ecologists, planners, and educators. Their task is to provide the science and data local governments need to protect a 910-square-mile watershed that touches seven counties.

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