Blog Posts

Blog posts by FLOW team and guest writers

Happy Birthday to our founder, Jim Olson!

This week, we’re celebrating not only a remarkable individual but also an inspiring force behind the mission of FLOW. It’s our founder Jim Olson’s birthday! Jim’s unwavering commitment to keeping the waters of the Great Lakes Basin healthy, public, and protected has paved the way for positive change. As we commemorate this special day, we… Read more »

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 energy production, a closer look… Read more »

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 that became law last year…. Read more »

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 protections, we have opportunities for… Read more »

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 spin-off) industrial site in Muskegon… Read more »

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 protected for all. Carolan arrives… Read more »

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 abundance of groundwater, significant regions… Read more »

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 in February, the proceeds will benefit… Read more »

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, their ecosystems, fish, and the… Read more »