Former Michigan lawmaker, Great Lakes advocate Patty Birkholz dies

Posted at 10:20 PM, May 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-03 22:20:45-04

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Rick Snyder says he’s “saddened” to learn that former Michigan lawmaker Patricia Birkholz – once the director of the Office of the Great Lakes – has died.

In a news release issued by the Governor’s office, Snyder called her a “tireless and highly-regarded advocate for Michigan and our lakes.”

According to Birkholz’ legislative bio on, she was born on January 28, 1944, and was elected to the Michigan House in 1996, and the Michigan Senate in 2002. She became President Pro Tempore in the Senate in 2003.

A Facebook page titled, “Patty Birkholz Care and Love” says she was battling a “sudden and aggressive return of cancer”, and had been under hospice care. At the time of this report, that could not be independently confirmed.

The rest of Snyder’s statement:

“Under her leadership, we saw the formation of the Great Lakes Inter-Basin Compact and the passage of significant legislation regarding water withdrawal assessment, the Michigan state parks passport, ballast water standards, and renewable energy mandates. We all should remember Patty for her dedication to protecting Michigan’s environment and residents, which will benefit Michiganders for generations.”

There was no immediate word on funeral arrangements.