James R. Hansen

Mr. James R. Hansen's background started in the commercial fishing industry as his father was a commercial fisherman out of Escanaba, Michigan. His family are the Hansen's, of the "Hansen and Jensen Fish Company" in Escanaba. Because of this background he has always had a passion for boating, and in particular, sailing the Great Lakes.

Jim began his involvement with boating and harbor issues in the late 70's as one of the founding fathers and Chairman of Escanaba's Harbor Advisory Committee until his appointment to the Michigan Waterways Commission (Commission) in 1993. During his tenure on the Commission, from 1993 through 1998, he had the opportunity to participate in decisions on state harbor development, the public's right to have access to the Great Lakes, and the development of policies to protect Michigan's water resources. As Chairman of the Commission he also had the opportunity to represent Michigan boaters at the National Conference and become more familiar with the need to approach Great Lake's issues on a regional basis, thereby sponsoring a regional meeting in Escanaba, Michigan pulling together state Waterways Commissioners from Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana.

Looking at issues facing the Great Lakes today, it is imperative that this regional approach to these concerns continues so the Commission can ensure that policies and procedures are in place to protect the waters from invasive species and exploitation, continued harbor development and maintenance, support of tourism and charter fishing, and provide for the general public's right to access Michigan's waters.