Search Results for: microplastics

More Progress Needed on Attacking the Threat of Microplastics in the Great Lakes

A January 2021 story by the Capital News Service headlined “Microplastics threaten Great Lakes, and not just the water” was one of the first I have seen recently about the threat of microplastics to our precious fresh waters. However, microplastics have been reported in the Great Lakes for more than 15 years. Researchers started to get interested in microplastics around 2012, but outside the scientific community, microplastic pollution in the Great Lakes hasn’t gained much interest. How much has been done to reduce microplastics? How much has been done to make the general public aware of this serious and growing threat?

Microplastics Invading the Food Chain

The Great Lakes face many challenges. Some are well-known, such as Asian carp, but some are almost invisible, such as microplastics. Small plastic detritus, termed “microplastics” or “microfibers,” are a widespread contaminant in aquatic ecosystems including the Great Lakes. Research reported in Environmental Science and Technology suggests that marine microplastic debris can have a negative impact upon zooplankton function and health.

FLOW in the News

Democrats in control: Advocates want action on justice, climate and “stronger leadership” from Gov. Whitmer By Gary Wilson, Great Lakes Now—Nov. 18, 2022 Elections have consequences, the saying goes, and for the Michigan Democratic party, the election last week resulted in a sweep of the race for governor and the legislature. Now comes their opportunity… Read more »

Progress and Hope for the Environment

Ten years to save the planet from climate change. PFAS, microplastics, and invasive species. Wetland destruction and failing, polluting septic systems.  Sometimes it seems as though the only environmental news is bad news. Here’s an antidote, borne in a glass half-full. Great Lakes Piping Plover An endearing, small shorebird that nests on Great Lakes beaches,… Read more »

Helping Great Lakes Communities Address Microplastic Pollution

Microplastics are plastics that measure no more than 5 millimeters long and reflect a growing environmental and public health concern. They come from a variety of sources. Some are intentionally manufactured. These are found in industrial or health and beauty products, the latter often used for scouring or exfoliation purposes.

The Geography of Hope Is Anchored in Our Precious Great Lakes

In his 1960 Wilderness Letter, conservationist and author Wallace Stegner famously coined the phrase “geography of hope,” referring to the impulse that led Americans to the wilderness idea. Now, in 2022, comes another prophet of hope, Maude Barlow. A lifelong and world-renowned champion of water, Maude has authored a book built on her career of activism. Its title, appropriately, is “Still Hopeful: Lessons from a Lifetime of Activism.” FLOW will host a livestream book event featuring Maude Barlow on Wednesday, June 15.

Governor Whitmer Has Opportunity to Lead on the Environment

As she begins her fourth year in office, Governor Whitmer, who will deliver this year’s State of the State message on Jan. 26, has an opportunity to build on past environmental successes and set the tone for a historic year of accomplishment. Thanks to significant federal COVID relief aid and a state economy performing better than forecast, Michigan has a rare abundance of funding to attack the state’s multi-billion-dollar backlog of sewage and drinking water infrastructure needs and attend to other urgent environmental needs. Here are a few ways she can strengthen public health protections and restore our environment.

PFAS-tainted Groundwater Emergency Threatens Traverse City Residents’ Wells and Well-Being

News has just broken that drinking water wells in East Bay Township, just a few blocks from Traverse City’s eastern edge and just across US-31 from East Grand Traverse Bay, may be contaminated by PFAS — what is being called, the “forever chemical.” My well. My neighbors’ wells. Our wells… our water… the water that many in my neighborhood use for drinking and cooking; the water that our households consume, writes FLOW special contributor Holly Wright.

A Matter of Reverence

The COVID-19 pandemic that has so overwhelmed us all for these past many months has made me draw inward, wanting to protect the waters and all things of natural beauty just for myself, writes FLOW supporter and author Jerry Beasley in his essay, “A Matter of Reverence.”

Pandemic PPE Poses Environmental Threat

Face masks, gloves, eye protection, and other forms of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have become a part of our daily life during the Coronavirus pandemic. But as states have reopened and people ventured outside more, their improper disposal of this protective gear has threatened the environment.