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Recent Posts

  • A Festering Issue: Why Michigan Can’t Afford to Cave to Big Manure

    A Festering Issue: Why Michigan Can’t Afford to Cave to Big Manure

    The Battle Over Regulating Biodigesters The current West Michigan controversy surrounding permitting for a facility that processes pre-consumer food waste into fuel is a stark reminder of the delicate balance between environmental protection and economic interests. While proponents of the facility tout its benefits in terms of waste reduction and …Read More »
  • Water, Clean Energy Budget Boosts in Governor’s Budget

    Water, Clean Energy Budget Boosts in Governor’s Budget

    Funds to help communities deal with stormwater pollution triggered by climate change and to support water infrastructure are among budget increases proposed by Governor Whitmer. Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1 also includes some increases for clean energy initiatives that build on climate legislation …Read More »
  • The 2024 Issue Outlook: Hope and Possibility for Michigan’s Environment

    The 2024 Issue Outlook: Hope and Possibility for Michigan’s Environment

    A nationally significant package of Michigan climate bills enacted in 2023 may herald significant progress on other environmental issues in 2024. That’s the hope that FLOW and partner groups bring to the policy agenda in the year ahead. With legislative majorities and a governor in favor of strengthening Michigan environmental …Read More »
  • Federal Court Hears Arguments from Bad River Band and Enbridge in Appeal of Line 5 Pipeline Shutdown Order

    Federal Court Hears Arguments from Bad River Band and Enbridge in Appeal of Line 5 Pipeline Shutdown Order

    Traverse City, Mich.— On February 7, 2024, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago heard oral arguments in the Line 5 case involving northern Wisconsin’s Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Enbridge, Inc., a Canadian multinational pipeline and energy company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, …Read More »
  • Chemours Site Cleanup: FLOW Supports Community Advocates Calling for Polluter to Restore Michigan Waters

    Chemours Site Cleanup: FLOW Supports Community Advocates Calling for Polluter to Restore Michigan Waters

    With FLOW’s legal help, a community group called the Chemours Environmental Impact Committee (CEIC – pronounced seek) of White River Township, in Muskegon County, Michigan, has petitioned the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy for a more active role in negotiations around cleaning up the Chemours (a Dupont …Read More »
  • Carolan Sonderegger joins FLOW as Policy Director

    Carolan Sonderegger joins FLOW as Policy Director

    FLOW is pleased to announce that Carolan Sonderegger has joined the team as our new Policy Director. Carolan leads our policy team in designing strategic policy interventions, and works with coalition partners, stakeholders, and agency and elected officials to advance FLOW’s mission to keep the Great Lakes healthy, public, and …Read More »
  • 53% of groundwater aquifers are losing water

    53% of groundwater aquifers are losing water

    A resource invisible most of the time to Michigan residents may be coveted more and more by other regions of the U.S.  It’s called groundwater.  Found underground in cracks and spaces in soil, sand and rock, groundwater is vital to human health and the environment. And while Michigan has an …Read More »
  • Virtual book talk with environmental novelist Maryann Lesert

    Virtual book talk with environmental novelist Maryann Lesert

     On February 15, FLOW presented an “Art Meets Water” virtual event with Maryann Lesert, novelist and author of the book, Land Marks. FLOW senior policy advisor Dave Dempsey hosted the talk via Zoom, which is now available to watch on YouTube. And, when you pre-order Land Marks from Bookshop.org …Read More »
  • Large-Volume Groundwater Withdrawals and the Public Trust

    Large-Volume Groundwater Withdrawals and the Public Trust

    A fish kill in Oregon may seem to have little to do with Michigan waters – but if you look closely there is a close connection in law. As the result of large-volume groundwater withdrawals like that in Oregon’s Deschutes River, western states have documented the serious impairment of streams, …Read More »
  • FLOW Appeals MPSC Permit to Site Replacement Line 5 Pipeline in Proposed Great Lakes Tunnel

    FLOW Appeals MPSC Permit to Site Replacement Line 5 Pipeline in Proposed Great Lakes Tunnel

    Media Release: January 3, 2024 Download printer-friendly PDF Traverse City, Mich.— For Love of Water (FLOW), a Great Lakes water law and policy center, filed an appeal on December 22, 2023 with the Michigan Court of Appeals to overturn the Michigan Public Service Commission’s December 1 decision to approve the …Read More »
  • FLOW joins amicus brief in Michigan Supreme Court CAFO case

    FLOW joins amicus brief in Michigan Supreme Court CAFO case

    By Carrie La Seur, FLOW Legal Director My lungs remember. While I was an Iowa Environmental Protection Commissioner, I said yes to a chance to visit a relatively small hog confinement run, by the dad of one of my son’s best friends. It was just a few miles from our …Read More »
  • The Great Lakes: Fact or Fake | A new book by FLOW senior advisor Dave Dempsey

    The Great Lakes: Fact or Fake | A new book by FLOW senior advisor Dave Dempsey

    In this new book by author and FLOW senior advisor Dave Dempsey, learn the true stories beneath the surface of the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem. Everybody who looks at the Great Lakes knows they’re big, but why are they Great? From sea serpents to sunken ships, from lonely lighthouses to …Read More »
  • History of The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement: Some progress, some problems

    History of The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement: Some progress, some problems

    By Daniel Macfarlane Daniel Macfarlane is an Associate Professor in the School of the Environment, Geography, and Sustainability at Western Michigan University. He is also a senior fellow at the Bill Graham Center for Contemporary International History, University of Toronto, and President of the International Water History Association. His research …Read More »
  • Disgraceful: MPSC Approves Permit for Enbridge Tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac; Breaches Legal Duty to Protect Michigan’s Natural Resources

    Disgraceful: MPSC Approves Permit for Enbridge Tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac; Breaches Legal Duty to Protect Michigan’s Natural Resources

    Traverse City, Mich. — FLOW is shocked that the collective efforts of thousands of Michiganders and treaty-protected tribes to protect our waters from the catastrophic risks of Line 5 have been ignored in today’s decision by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to grant authorization for a Line 5 tunnel. …Read More »
  • Douglas Jester announced chair of FLOW Board of Directors

    Douglas Jester announced chair of FLOW Board of Directors

    FLOW is pleased to announce that Douglas Jester has been elected to a two year term as chair of its Board of Directors. Douglas has served on the FLOW board for over 4 years. A partner at 5 Lakes Energy, Douglas specializes in utility regulation and energy policy, research, and …Read More »
  • Traverse City Participates in a Binational Exercise to Re-energize the Ecosystem Approach

    Traverse City Participates in a Binational Exercise to Re-energize the Ecosystem Approach

    Illustration: Mariah Alexander By John Hartig, Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor Last month, 13 people representing diverse backgrounds met in a Traverse City workshop to brainstorm on how to make better use of something called “an ecosystem approach” in Great Lakes protection and restoration. Part of …Read More »
  • Be a part of a wave of support for FLOW this Giving Tuesday

    Be a part of a wave of support for FLOW this Giving Tuesday

    Giving Tuesday is on November 28, and we’re asking you to be part of a great wave of support for FLOW and the Great Lakes ❤️ Giving Tuesday is national day of philanthropy, where people across the country show some love to the nonprofits they care about. If keeping the …Read More »
  • EGLE’s denial of permit for Long Lake private private marina upheld

    EGLE’s denial of permit for Long Lake private private marina upheld

    The Environmental Permit Review Commission (EPRC) recently made an important decision affecting inland lakes and the public trust doctrine in Michigan. In a case involving the proposed construction of a boathouse, boat basin, and dredged entrance channel on the 3-acre lakefront property on Long Lake in Traverse City, the EPRC …Read More »
  • What happens when Line 5 is shut down? A report on energy market impacts

    What happens when Line 5 is shut down? A report on energy market impacts

    Download as PDF PLG Consulting’s 111-page October 2023 report, Likely Market Responses to a Potential Shutdown of LINE 5, provides an overview of potential impacts and market responses in the event of a planned and orderly shutdown of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline. Line 5 is part of Enbridge’s Lakehead System, …Read More »
  • We Love the Water: A conversation with Eva Petoskey

    We Love the Water: A conversation with Eva Petoskey

    By Diane L. Dupuis, FLOW Senior Advancement Advisor I have long sought a deeper understanding of the parallels to be found in the Great Lakes water protection work undertaken by both FLOW and the Anishinaabe nations. Recently I came across an academic paper whose title seemed to point to these …Read More »
  • Groundwater Story Map: updated, interactive data on Michigan’s hidden resource

    Groundwater Story Map: updated, interactive data on Michigan’s hidden resource

    If a picture is worth a thousand words, a map is often worth tens of thousands. That’s especially true of a map that tells the story of a natural resource that is out of sight and often overlooked: groundwater. Building on over five years of work, FLOW has recently updated …Read More »
  • FLOW welcomes Carrie La Seur as its new Legal Director

    FLOW welcomes Carrie La Seur as its new Legal Director

    FLOW is pleased to announce that Carrie La Seur has joined our staff as Legal Director. A graduate of Yale Law School, Carrie recently relocated to northern Michigan from Montana, where she practiced civil litigation, specializing in environmental and climate issues. From 2006-2012 served as Executive Director of Plains Justice, …Read More »
  • Water: Essential for Life, Victim of Politics

    Water: Essential for Life, Victim of Politics

    By Jim Olson, FLOW founder and senior legal advisor Recent reports show that four decades ago, Congress was advised that citizens in our cities and towns would face lead poisoning from lead pipes in municipal drinking water systems. Nothing was done. The failure of Congress to address this crisis then …Read More »
  • Making Polluters Pay: How to Fix State Law and Policy to Protect Groundwater and Michigan Taxpayers

    Making Polluters Pay: How to Fix State Law and Policy to Protect Groundwater and Michigan Taxpayers

    Download the new report: MAKING POLLUTERS PAY (pdf) FLOW (For Love of Water) hailed the introduction of “polluter pay” bills in the Michigan Legislature as a long overdue step toward protecting Michigan’s groundwater resources and public health from the 24,000+ contaminated sites in the state. The new legislation shifts the …Read More »
  • Bottled water: A threat to public water, but there’s hope

    Bottled water: A threat to public water, but there’s hope

    In his timely and profound new book, Unbottled, Daniel Jaffee tackles the threat that commercialized, packaged water poses to water as a public good. His message is more than an alarm bell – it offers hope and suggestions on how to fight back. Maude Barlow, a globally recognized water steward …Read More »
  • Michigan state legislators introduce water affordability bills

    Michigan state legislators introduce water affordability bills

    In the wake of massive water service shut-offs in recent years affecting residents of Detroit and other communities, members of the Michigan Legislature are offering bills to make water rates affordable for all citizens. “We are the Great Lakes State, surrounded by fresh water, but many Michiganders do not have …Read More »
  • Cleaner Energy = Cleaner Water

    Cleaner Energy = Cleaner Water

      The Michigan legislature is poised to require that 100 percent of electric power come from carbon-free sources by 2035, in what would be among the most comprehensive clean energy initiatives in the country. The ambitious legislative agenda, fulfilling Governor Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan, would also increase energy efficiency …Read More »
  • A conversation with DNR Director M. Scott Bowen

    A conversation with DNR Director M. Scott Bowen

    Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed M. Scott Bowen as Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in September 2023.  Bowen served as the Commissioner of the Michigan Lottery from January 2008 to February 2017. He also served as the Director of Office of the State Employer and was elected …Read More »
  • FLOW files amicus brief; urges Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to remand Line 5 lawsuit back to state court

    FLOW files amicus brief; urges Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to remand Line 5 lawsuit back to state court

    On September 25, 2023, FLOW (For Love of Water) filed a motion with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the 2019 state lawsuit Attorney General Dana Nessel v. Enbridge, requesting the federal appeals court to accept an amicus brief, laying out arguments why the case should be remanded back …Read More »
  • New methods enable tracking of beach contamination sources

    New methods enable tracking of beach contamination sources

    By guest authors: Alan Steinman, Ph.D.1 and Charlyn Partridge, Ph.D.2 1Allen and Helen Hunting Research Professor and 2Associate Professor Annis Water Resources Institute, Grand Valley State University In an email issued earlier this summer, FLOW quite appropriately noted the beauty and allure of our Great Lakes beaches, and also the …Read More »