Blog Posts

Blog posts by FLOW team and guest writers

Great Lakes Manure Conference: Agriculture Runoff and Lake Erie

On May 1-2, 2024, FLOW policy director Carolan Sonderegger and legal director Carrie La Seur attended the Great Lakes Manure Conference in Toledo, Ohio. The conference was an opportunity to tour the Maumee River, and learn from experts about legal, environmental, and public health issues posed by Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). Below, Carolan shares… Read more »

Drinking Water Week 2024

We are so used to turning on the tap and receiving safe drinking water that we often forget how vulnerable that water can be to contamination. During Drinking Water Week, recognized May 5-11 by the State of Michigan and nationally, filling knowledge gaps is a critical priority. Knowing the source of your drinking water is… Read more »

“Wilderness, Water and Rust” – A conversation with author Jane Elder

Longtime Great Lakes advocate Jane Elder’s new book, Wilderness, Water and Rust, (available from Michigan State University Press) is a compelling story of both progress and backsliding in policies and practices affecting the Lakes. It is also a memoir of growing up in Michigan and more than 40 years of fighting for a clean environment… Read more »

State Expands Clean Water Funding; More Funding Needed

On Earth Day, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced a $290 million expansion of the MI Clean Water Plan with proceeds from the bipartisan, voter-approved 2002 Great Lakes Water Quality Protection Bond. The funds will expand state low-interest loans to local governments for drinking water and water… Read more »

Protecting citizen rights and access to water

In the state of Virginia, public water shutoffs for nonpayment of water bills are now prohibited during below-freezing or scorching temperatures and during public health crises, such as the COVID pandemic. Imagine if, here in Michigan, we take the four steps to finally pass a new law that addresses the whole problem. Let’s call it… Read more »

Policy Brief: The Case for a Statewide Septic Code in Michigan

Policy Brief: The Case for a Statewide Septic Code in Michigan (Download PDF) Michigan is located at the heart of the most extensive fresh surface water system in North America, which comprises about 90% of all fresh surface water in the region. However, it is the only state in the US that does not have… Read more »

8 ways to keep the Great Lakes great

Earth Day has always been about action as much as education. But in a complex world with complex environmental problems, where do we begin? Here are eight specific actions you can take protect the world’s greatest lakes: Pare down plastics Plastic pollution is growing exponentially, with some of the highest concentrations of microplastics in the… Read more »

In Honor of John Monroe Frey: A Dear Friend of FLOW

It is with deep sorrow that we bid farewell to John Monroe Frey, an extraordinary man whose life was a testament to the power of passion, curiosity, and unwavering dedication to the Great Lakes and his community. John passed away peacefully on March 28, 2024, at his home in Charlevoix, Michigan, surrounded by his beloved… Read more »

A Watershed Moment: The Great Lakes Compact After 15 Years

On April 16, 2024, FLOW released its report, A Watershed Moment: The Great Lakes Compact After 15 Years. The report offers a history of the agreement, analysis of its achievements and gaps, and recommendations to strengthen its protections. Download the Report (PDF) On December 8, 2008, after 10 years of talks and negotiations among the… Read more »

Policy Brief: Polluter Accountability in Michigan

Download the policy brief: Polluter Accountability (PDF) The repeal of the Polluter Pay law has cost Michigan taxpayers over $1.5 billion over the past 25 years1. Polluters have walked away from more than 3,000 contaminated sites with groundwater and soil too polluted to use, leaving taxpayers on the hook for billions more. The rollback has… Read more »