Powered by our supporters, FLOW had quite a year in 2019. Our legal advocacy work to restore the rule of law made a big impact at the state level. Michigan’s new Attorney General Dana Nessel filed a public trust lawsuit on June 27 to revoke the 1953 easement that conditionally authorizes Enbridge to operate its… Read more »
Drumroll please! It’s time to unveil the top 10 most popular, most clicked, most-talked about blog posts written by FLOW in 2019.
A Michigan state administrative law judge, after almost a year and a half delay, recently decided he had no jurisdiction to rule on a citizen challenge of a proposed potash mine that would suck enormous amounts of groundwater out of an aquifer near the town of Hersey—near Reed City and the Huron-Manistee National Forests. The mine, if approved, would drain groundwater supporting sensitive wetlands and result in disposal of contaminated water into aquifers.
In what is becoming a cherished Great Lakes community event, the eighth annual Thunder Bay International Film Festival takes place in Alpena, Michigan, January 22-26, 2020. Organized by Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the festival’s offerings span a range of films, from a local student competition to Great Lakes subjects to selections from the International Ocean Film Festival.
An angler speaks with a DNR creel clerk. Photo courtesy Michigan DNR By Tom Baird Many Michiganders overlook a state agency critical to the environment. When we talk about water issues in Michigan, we usually think of environmental protection, especially related to pollution and public health. We tend to forget that environmentalism was born out of… Read more »
FLOW held a community engagement session at the Grand Rapids Public Library on Thursday, December 5, to make the economic case for government’s role in protecting human health and the environment—both nationally and locally.
The Great Lakes face many challenges. Some are well-known, such as Asian carp, but some are almost invisible, such as microplastics. Small plastic detritus, termed “microplastics” or “microfibers,” are a widespread contaminant in aquatic ecosystems including the Great Lakes. Research reported in Environmental Science and Technology suggests that marine microplastic debris can have a negative impact upon zooplankton function and health.
This article is excerpted from the final of four policy briefs by former FLOW board chair, and former director of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth, Skip Pruss, that make the economic case for government’s role in protecting the environment. The fourth policy brief, “Resetting Expectations: Accounting for Environmental, Health, and Climate Impacts in the Energy Sector” is available here to read or download.
It’s been almost 50 years since the United States and Canada entered into the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, and during this time, we have watched rust-belt contaminated urban cores rebound and polluted ecosystems revived. But we also have witnessed a rollback of major federal environmental regulations and laws, the Flint lead crisis, Detroit water shutoffs, lack of investment and crumbling regional water infrastructure, lack of safe, affordable drinking water, wetland destruction, water privatization, legacy and emerging pollutants like PFAs, and unprecedented climate change impacts. Our challenge in this new century is to avoid the constant cycle of ruin to recovery.
What I have learned, and what I believe in the most elemental way, is that our first and most basic relationship with water is anchored in love. In the absence of love there is the great risk of indifference and failure to protect this resource that, under the Public Trust Doctrine, belongs to us all and is essential to life. If the heart is not engaged, the waters will not be saved. So, while we marshal facts and organize and encourage activism, let us remember to acknowledge the power of our affections and make them a guiding principle in all that we do.