As Community Planning Manager, Ethan Brown works with coastal communities  in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana to implement infrastructure projects and develop policies aimed at protecting and improving the rivers, creeks, ravines, and streams that drain into Lake Michigan. Ethan works closely with municipal staff and natural areas managers to protect local water assets and the land which surrounds them. Ethan prioritizes residents in his planning work by engaging community members throughout the process and supporting stronger relationships between local government and residents. Ethan manages the organization’s community planning work and policy initiatives in Michigan City to improve both water quality and quality of life. Ethan also leads the Revitalizing Our Ravines project – a joint project of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Chicago Botanic Garden, The Field Museum, and Openlands.

Before joining the Alliance in 2015, Ethan worked at Heartland Alliance on the Illinois Asset Building Group project, a statewide coalition committed to expanding economic opportunity for all Illinoisans. Ethan grew up with a creek in his backyard and exploring it was one of his all time favorite childhood activities. He sees rivers and streams as critical to our Great Lakes. He is committed to working with communities to choose policies and plan projects that protect rivers and the habitat that surround them, which in turn protects the Great Lakes.  Ethan earned his bachelor’s’ degrees in English and Psychology from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy from University of Illinois at Chicago.