Water Connects Us to Everything That’s Alive: FLOW Inspires Us to Protect It

“Our bodies are mostly water. Water connects us to everything around us that is alive,” says award-winning poet Alison Swan. “The water and the land are inseparable from one another. Stop and think to yourself: How does what’s happening to the land around this water impact the water supply of essentially the world? Because water flows all over the surface and below the surface of earth.”

“Lake Michigan May Be Coming to Idaho”

Register today for FLOW’s Dec. 8 conversation with author Dave Dempsey on freshly updated ‘Great Lakes for Sale’ Editor’s note: This is an excerpt of the prologue to Great Lakes for Sale (Mission Point Press, 2021) the freshly updated, must-read book by Great Lakes luminary and FLOW Senior Advisor Dave Dempsey. Be sure to buy… Read more »

Can We Save and Restore the Great Lakes Watershed’s Iconic Species?

Michigan Technological University professor Nancy Langston is a nationally recognized environmental historian and the author of five books . In her latest, Climate Ghosts: Migratory Species in the Anthropocene, she explores the fate of three species historically found in the Great Lakes watershed: woodland caribou, common loons and lake sturgeon. Nancy reports on stresses imposed on these signature species by European colonization and now by climate change. Can we restore them? Perhaps, she answers, if we’re willing to make difficult choices. FLOW interviewed Langston recently by e-mail.

Spurred by Citizens, Michigan Speeds Up Getting the Lead Out of Benton Harbor’s Drinking Water Supply

In the end, it took outside intervention to begin moving the people of Benton Harbor toward a clean, safe water supply this fall. Why? Despite three years of data showing that the city’s drinking water exceeded state standards for lead contamination, it wasn’t until the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center filed a petition with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on September 9 that the State of Michigan took decisive action to address the problem. The EPA followed suit with an order to the city on November 2 to improve disinfection and corrosion treatments at the water plant, monitor for disinfection byproducts, repair plant filters, and contract with a third party to study the long-term operation of the city’s drinking water system.

Infrastructure Bill Passes, Now the Work Begins in the Great Lakes Basin

Michigan has a gigantic opportunity to provide clean drinking water, clean up sewage and stormwater runoff, and restore the Great Lakes—while promoting access for all to clean, safe, affordable water—after last Friday’s final bipartisan Congressional action on the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act.

Line 5’s Clock is Ticking Ever Louder in the Great Lakes

The following op-ed by FLOW Executive Director Liz Kirkwood appeared in the Traverse City Record-Eagle on November 3: We at FLOW agree, “The clock is ticking.” That “tick, tick, tick” sound, however, isn’t coming from Enbridge’s proposed tunnel. It is coming from an environmental ticking time bomb called Line 5—Enbridge’s twin pipelines pumping oil nearly 20 years past their intended lifespan in raging currents at the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac.

New Officers Elected to FLOW Board of Directors

FLOW, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2021, is pleased to announce the election of new officers on its Board of Directors, including the first woman to chair the Board. Renee Huckle Mittelstaedt, former president and CEO of Huckle Media, LLC/Huckle Holdings Inc., has taken over as FLOW’s new Board Chair. She joined FLOW’s board in 2015 and previously served as treasurer.

Fighting Forever Chemicals: Michigan Governor, Feds Take Action

The logjam that has halted progress in dealing with PFAS, the toxic “forever chemicals” that plague communities across Michigan and the nation, is finally breaking up. On October 27, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered state government to discontinue the purchase of many PFAS-containing products, as encouraged by FLOW last month. The Governor, whose support was critical in enacting health-protective state drinking water standards for PFAS last year, said “PFAS are dangerous, man-made chemicals that pose a threat to our health.”

Making a Difference for the Environment: Youth is No Barrier for Michigan’s Nisha Singhi

At the age of 14, Nisha Singhi has already made more impact on state environmental policy than most adults. As a result of her work, two Michigan legislators have introduced bills. Nisha, who resides in Bloomfield Hills and is a sophomore at International Academy in Bloomfield Hills, became concerned several years ago about the problem of balloon debris and litter in the environment. She decided to do something about it through state policy.