Women We Love 2022: Debra Shore

Debra Shore

by EPA

An avid outdoorswoman and environmentalist, Debra Shore has climbed 42 mountains in Colorado that are more than 14,000’ high. As impressive as that is, Shore’s environmental work is even more admirable. In 2021, President Biden appointed Shore as Regional Administrator for Region 5 in the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She is tasked with implementing the Biden-Harris environmental agenda in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, and 35 Tribal nations. As part of her role, Shore leads restoration and protection of the world’s largest freshwater system as the manager of EPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office. Before being appointed to the EPA, Shore served as an elected commissioner on the board of Cook County’s Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, helping to manage the area’s precious freshwater resources. Shore draws inspiration from her volunteer work in habitat restoration in the Cook County Forest Preserves. “I’ve found that [habitat] restoration is a reciprocal act—in working to restore nature, it restores us: our bodies and our spirits,” she tells GO. Witnessing the neglect of these landscapes by those charged with their care propelled her to become politically active and advocate for more resources to support the country’s natural areas. As an out gay woman and elected official, Shore is deeply proud of pushing for policies and practices that are fair and just for all. She says the most rewarding aspect of her work is “being able to make policy changes that directly affect people’s lives—for the better.” –LC


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