Blog Posts

Blog posts by FLOW team and guest writers

Traverse City’s ‘Next Generation’ Leaders Promote a Cleaner, Greener Future

“It strikes me as so sad that litter is something that we as humans are so accustomed to that we hardly notice it if we aren’t actively looking for it,” writes Ella Kirkwood, a sophomore at Traverse City Central High School and a member of the Students for Environmental Advocacy Club. “I think promoting an attitude of conservation among my peers is the most important step towards a greener future. We need to create a culture of caring.”

Michigan’s Forgotten Resource: The Water Flowing Underground

Water flows through a single cycle from air to surface water and groundwater, or from the land to lakes and streams, evaporating and beginning its journey all over again. But environmental law and policy often overlook an entire arc of the cycle, neglecting to include groundwater, and as a result, exposing the public to health risks and exposing ecosystems to degradation.

Building Consensus to Protect Michigan’s Groundwater

Michigan’s groundwater is a critical part of Michigan’s present and future. Increasing population, a changing climate, and limited public funding for prevention and cleanup of contamination will continue to stress groundwater resources. The report, “Building Consensus: Securing Protection of Michigan’s Groundwater,” contains findings about the status of Michigan’s groundwater and also recommendations on how to improve its protection.

FLOW to Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority: No Enbridge Oil Tunnel Without Authorization Under the Public Trust Doctrine

Editor’s Note: FLOW today resubmitted the following formal comments from February to the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority in advance of the Authority’s 10 a.m. public meeting in St. Ignace regarding Enbridge’s oil tunnel proposed through public bottomlands in the Straits of Mackinac. See the Authority’s June 7, 2022, meeting agenda, and learn about the opportunity… Read more »

Celebrate Great Lakes and Freshwater Week

Michigan is a place of natural abundance, but one resource is paramount—water. Michigan Great Lakes and Freshwater Week (June 4-12) is an opportunity to learn more about our state’s water endowment, and how to protect it.

Faster Testing Results, Few Problem Beaches

As air and water warm for summer, so do thoughts of beach time. Is it safe to get in the water? A relatively new tool is adding to the confidence of local health officers that they are capturing in a timely way indicators of water quality problems at public beaches. Using the QPCR method, health departments can respond far more quickly in issuing advisories regarding potential threats at beaches in Michigan, often the same day samples are taken.

FLOW’s Jim Olson Honored with Large Lake Champion Award

Jim Olson, the founder and senior legal advisor of FLOW, has received one of the first Large Lake Champion Awards presented by the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR), the organization announced Monday. IAGLR is a scientific organization made up of researchers studying the Laurentian Great Lakes, other large lakes of the world, and their watersheds, as well as those with an interest in that research. The new award recognizes and honors individuals whose work has made significant contributions to sharing the social, economic, and ecological understanding of the large lakes of the world.

FLOW Welcomes Drew Broadway as Operations Manager

FLOW is excited to announce that Drew Broadway has joined our staff as Director of Operations.“We are thrilled to have Drew join the FLOW team,” said FLOW Executive Director Liz Kirkwood. “He brings a wealth of environmental and conservation nonprofit sector experience. Drew also brings heart and soul to our work, sharing a deep love for the rivers, lakes, and wetlands of Michigan and the Great Lakes. Please join us in welcoming Drew.” We asked Drew about his connection to the Great Lakes, his favorite place in Michigan, and his favorite Great Lakes fact.

Delivering Water In Flint: An Outsider Documents a Community in Crisis and Recovery

In his 2021 book Standpipe, Delivering Water In Flint, author David Hardin paints a portrait of a community reeling from the lead poisoning of its public water supply. Volunteering to deliver clean water to Flint households, Hardin finds both profound hardship and the will of the Flint community. The Library of Michigan named Standpipe one of 20 Michigan Notable Books for 2022. FLOW interviewed him about what the plight of Flint revealed to him.