FLOW’s Work is a Matter of the Heart

As we reflect on FLOW’s work, it seems appropriate to quote FLOW supporter, and author, Jerry Beasley. “What is fundamental about our relationship with water is a matter of the heart, ” writes Beasley. “If the heart is not engaged, the waters will not be saved.” FLOW’s 2019 annual report, which you can view here, highlights what we have accomplished during the past fiscal year.

Groundwater Should be Treated as Priceless, Not Worthless

Why should we clean up contaminated groundwater instead of sealing it off? Because what we can’t see can come back to hurt us. Almost 40 years ago, contamination in Charlevoix’s groundwater forced the city to switch to Lake Michigan as its drinking water source. Now, Michigan Radio reports, that contamination is threatening health and property values.

New Book About International Joint Commission Takes Hard Look at U.S.-Canada Water Relationship

The First Century of the International Joint Commission is the definitive history of the International Joint Commission (IJC), which oversees and protects the shared waters of the United States and Canada. Created by the Boundary Waters Treaty (BWT) of 1909, it is one of the world’s oldest international environmental bodies. A pioneering piece of trans-border water governance, the IJC has been integral to the modern U.S.-Canada relationship, especially in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence basin.

Michigan Courts Can Enforce a Township’s Responsibility to Remedy Widespread Septic System Failures

Michigan remains the only state without statewide regulations governing the inspection of septic systems, leaving the job of protecting waters from septic systems to local governments. A 2012 decision of the Michigan Supreme Court makes clear that, in the face of widespread septic system failures in a region, Michigan courts can nevertheless step in to enforce a local government’s duty to protect the waters of the state from sewage contamination.

Wanted: a Government That Acts Like an Adult and Cleans Up its Mess

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has a prime opportunity to provide a bold, optimistic alternative to Trump’s war on the environment when she delivers the Democratic Party’s response to the State of the Union address on Tuesday night. As the leader of our Great Lakes state, and the protector of our lakes, streams, air, and groundwater, Whitmer must stand up for the 1.5 million workers whose jobs are directly tied to the health of the Great Lakes. She should call for a Great Lakes platform to protect our drinking water, public health, jobs and quality of life.

The State of Governor Whitmer’s State of the State Message

When Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivers her State of the State speech on Wednesday, January 29, she would do well to emulate her predecessor Gov. William Milliken, who 50 years ago gave a 1970 State of the State speech that fought environmental degradation and deregulation and called for dramatic changes in state policy to better protect the air, water, land, fish and wildlife.

Delivering an Environmentally-strong State of the State—the Milliken Way

Michigan Governor William Milliken outlined a sweeping attack on environmental degradation in both his annual State of the State address on January 15, 1970, and a special message to the Legislature solely on environmental issues, on January 22, 1970. “Milliken Urges War on Pollution,” read a Detroit Free Press headline.