Blog Posts

Blog posts by FLOW team and guest writers

Long Overdue: A Library of the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes have spawned a multitude of institutions from research to governance to the arts—but no library. Several leaders say it’s overdue. Inspired by a 2016 New York Times article about work to establish a Rocky Mountain Land Library, co-founder Deborah Burand said, “We need to do this, but make it a land and water library, a Library of the Great Lakes.”

FLOW Welcomes Milliken Law and Policy Interns, Mary Basso and Irene Namae

FLOW is thrilled to welcome our ambitious and talented pair of Milliken law and policy summer interns, Irene Namae and Mary Basso. We recently interviewed Irene and Mary to get to know them, their roots, their passion for environmental advocacy, and what attracted them to FLOW.

“At FLOW, our interns jump into the fray and immediately work together with our staff to protect our precious waters,” said Executive Director Liz Kirkwood. “We are thrilled to welcome Irene and Mary to the team, and excited to benefit from their fresh energy and ideas. As our Milliken interns, they have the skills and attributes to help extend the legacy of environmental protection left by Gov. William and Helen Milliken.”

Appreciating and Protecting Michigan’s Inland Lakes

The Great Lakes rightly command our attention and affection, but maybe it’s time to take stock of Michigan’s other lake resource—the thousands of lakes distributed across the state map like freckles. Michigan’s inland lakes span a large range of sizes and occur in a variety of environments. It’s appropriate during the state’s Lakes Appreciation Month to take pride in them.

‘A Step toward Victory for the Public and the Great Lakes’

Editor’s Note: The following is a statement from Jim Olson, Senior Legal Advisor at FLOW (For Love of Water), the Great Lakes law and policy center based in Traverse City. The statement is in response to the decision today by the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) at its regular meeting to reopen the record to… Read more »

The Latest on Line 5: Key Pathways to Protect the Great Lakes from an Oil Spill Disaster

Editor’s note: This is a FLOW media release issued July 6, 2022. Members of the media can reach FLOW Deputy Director Kelly Thayer at or 231-944-3119; Oil & Water Don’t Mix Coordinator Sean McBrearty at or 616-516-7758; and Whitney Gravelle, president of the Executive Council, Bay Mills Indian Community, at or 906-248-8100…. 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.

You’re Never Too Old to Become a Water Warrior

I’m finally paying full attention to climate change—which is undoubtedly the highest stakes issue of our time. Simultaneously, my appreciation for the Great Lakes and what they mean to all living things that rely upon them is rising exponentially. I may be 66 years old, but it’s never too late to have one’s consciousness raised and to become extremely protective of this freshwater treasure—something we play in and on, drink from, and largely take for granted—and to recruit more “water warriors” to the cause.

Test Your Great Lakes Water Knowledge

We all know that the Great Lakes are a magnificent freshwater system, the largest in the world. But are you intimately familiar with their unique characteristics and dimensions? The 10 true-or-false questions below give you an opportunity to determine whether you are a Superior Scholar or a mere landlubber. How will you do?

FLOW’s Jim Olson and Dave Dempsey Honored by IAGLR for Great Lakes Protection Efforts

Photo: FLOW’s Jim Olson (left) and Dave Dempsey. Note: This is a FLOW media release issued June 21, 2022. Members of the media can reach FLOW’s: Jim Olson, Founder & Senior Legal Advisor at Dave Dempsey, Senior Policy Advisor, Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director, at or cell (570) 872-4956 or office (231) 944-1568. Traverse City,… Read more »