Last month marked the 50th anniversary of turning off the American Falls, the smaller of the main cataracts at Niagara Falls. In the 1950s, engineers had replumbed the much larger Horseshoe Falls, shrinking it and diverting the majority of the water before it plunged over the precipice. All this may not seem very “green” — but the point was primarily to funnel water to hydropower stations. Thus, the modern history of Niagara Falls raises some interesting questions about what sustainability looks like in the Great Lakes basin.
This spring, water levels on all five of the Great Lakes have reached, or are approaching, record highs. The result of unusually high winter and spring precipitation, increased winter ice cover and reduced evaporation, these new highs are the latest in a never-ending series of Great Lakes level fluctuations. Studies show that climate change is causing or contributing to more rapid swings between high and low water levels.
Snyder Administration Knowingly Violates State Law, Constitution in Race to Seal ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel Deals || December 17, 2018 In a rush to give away public land, water, and taxpayer resources to the private Canadian pipeline company Enbridge before departing office in 13 days, Gov. Rick Snyder and his administration are knowingly taking steps… Read more »
In comments submitted to state officials Friday, FLOW is urging state regulators to deny a bid by Enbridge Energy to install 48 new anchor supports on dangerous Line 5 at the Straits of Mackinac while evading scrutiny of alternatives that would protect the environment. Enbridge’s latest request, if approved, would bring the number of anchor… Read more »
A sampling of recent news coverage involving FLOW Research shows Great Lakes algae and microplastics connect March 21, 2021 Scientists discovered plastic microfibers in the Great Lakes are sticking to green algae that grows along the bottomlands in a way that could help keep the pollution out of the environment. Liz Kirkwood, executive director for Traverse… Read more »
On Sunday, after seven months of legal battles and protests, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that they will not grant the final easement across the Missouri River necessary to build the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline to transport Bakken oil to Illinois and the Gulf. The basis of this decision was the need to conduct… Read more »
Under Michigan law, the state must stop Line 5’s oil flow and hold public hearings on the steel pipelines lying underwater in the Mackinac Straits as it considers Enbridge Energy’s application to remedy easement violations and shore up its aging underwater infrastructure, according to FLOW (For Love of Water), a Traverse City-based Great Lakes water… Read more »
A great article from the Blade, a Toledo newspaper, was just published which supports the need for a strong “waters of the US” rule under the Clean Water Act. This rule would insure that wetlands and tributary waters of the Great Lakes are not diminished, impaired, and the Great Lakes ecosystem and waters are not damaged. The article… Read more »
As part of Earth Day today, I had the opportunity to submit FLOW’s memorandum to the Michigan Public Service Commission at the Governor’s “listening session” on future energy policy in Michigan. At FLOW we believe that by looking at the entire hydrological cycle as a basis for addressing systemic threats like climate change–the single largest… Read more »