Melissa Damaschke is the Great Lakes program officer for the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation. The $280 million and Michigan-based foundation’s mission is to “nurture environmentally healthy and culturally vibrant communities in metropolitan Detroit, consistent with sustainable business models, and support initiatives to restore the Great Lakes ecosystem.”


Prior to joining Erb, Damaschke was the director of the Sierra Club’s Great Lakes program, where she coordinated grassroots efforts to protect Great Lakes ecosystems and supported widespread use of green stormwater infrastructure in Detroit and Milwaukee. In that role she also served as a Trustee of the Fund For Lake Michigan, as Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the City Of Detroit’s Green Task Force Water Subcommittee, as a Vision Keeper for the Great Lakes Bioneers, and on the Governance Board for the Healing Our Waters - Great Lakes Coalition.


Damaschke holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies from Northland College and is very passionate about protecting the Great Lakes. She enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs. She also cherishes her time outdoors hiking, kayaking, and playing sand volleyball.