She was one of the founding community members of the sanctuary, joining its advisory council in 1997 representing the Alpena City Council. Carol was very active in seeking designation of the area as the first sanctuary in fresh waters. She has held an advisory council seat for 20 years.
She says of all the things she has ever been involved in, the sanctuary is her lifetime greatest achievement and her passion. She received the National Environmental Hero award in 2001 for her work leading to the designation of Thunder Bay as a National Marine Sanctuary. She has been Volunteer of the Year, has testified in Washington DC on the reauthorization of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, and is very involved as an advisor and volunteer.
Carol spent 24 years in service to the people of the City of Alpena as a planning commissioner (8); city council member (12) and mayor (4) before retiring from local politics. During this time she also served as president of the Michigan Municipal League, the association of 550+ Michigan cities. In March 2017, she was awarded MML’s highest individual honor, the Honorary Life Membership Award. She also has been recognized as Alpena Citizen of the Year and Zonta Woman of the Year, among many accolades.
Ms. Shafto grew up in northern Michigan (Onaway). She came to Alpena at 17 to attend Alpena Community College. After graduation, she joined the US Air Force and went on to earn a degree from Oakland University and to attend both University of Michigan and Michigan State. She is a nationally certified planner (AICP) through the American Planning Association. She will retire from Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency in September 2017 after 38 years. She is the planning and evaluation director of the 11-county regional human service agency.
Carol has two sons, Shawn and Geoffrey, and one grandson, Julian, the light of her life. She lives in the City of Alpena and vows not to become a snowbird!