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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 »

FLOW’s Legislative Recommendations for Michigan’s 102nd Legislature

PDF DOWNLOAD: FLOW Legislative Recommendations for 102nd Legislature As a non-partisan, nonprofit law and policy center, a key component of our mission is to help Michigan’s elected leaders uphold their duties under Article IV, Section 52 of the state constitution, the Michigan Environmental Protection Act, and the public trust doctrine to protect the waters of… Read more »

Gov. Whitmer signs “No Stricter Than Federal” roll-back: Why it matters

Michigan is once again free to enact environmental protections critical to the health of our environment and residents. Updated July 31, 2023 On July 27, 2023, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bill 14, which passed the State House of Representatives on June 28 by a 56-52 vote. With her signature, the 2018 state statute that… Read more »

FLOW in the News

A Battle for the Future of the Great Lakes Photographs and video by Adam Joseph Wells. Story by Donovan Hohn. Produced by Geoff Mcghee. | Sierra Magazine | 03/16/2023 A pipeline carrying Canadian tar sands crude has already leaked a million gallons. These are the resisters dedicated to shutting down Enbridge Line 5. “It’s not… Read more »

Know the Source of Your Water—During Drinking Water Week, and Every Week

During Drinking Water Week, recognized May 1-7 by the State of Michigan and nationally, filling knowledge gaps is a critical priority. Knowing the source of your drinking water is crucial, and so is knowing about threats to its safety and legal and environmental defenses to prevent its contamination.

An Earth Day Review: The Michigan Environmental Protection Act in 2022

One of the leading champions and practitioners of the Michigan Environmental Protection Act (MEPA) has been FLOW’s founder, Jim Olson. For 50 years, he has put MEPA to work in the courts and administrative processes, defending wetlands, streams, flora and fauna, and human health.  Jim has adeptly used MEPA to protect the Great Lakes and its tributary rivers and streams, vindicate indigenous treaty fishing rights, and limit Nestlé’s withdrawal of Michigan groundwater.

The Kids are All Right: FLOW Partners to Lift Up the Youth Water Movement

You’ve heard, no doubt, of Greta Thunberg, the 19-year-old Swedish environmental activist. But you have probably not heard yet of Bebe Schaefer and Rachel Roberts, two students at American University in Washington, D.C., who recently launched the nonprofit organization Water&, on a “constant journey of collective action.” We at FLOW are thrilled to join hands with Water& and other young adult-led organizations in the Great Lakes Basin, and in our nation’s capital, to expand hope and leadership in the protection of our public waters. We intend this effort to support not just the youth climate movement, but also help feed the emerging“youth water movement” focused on a clean environment, public health, and equitable outcomes.

Happy Birthday to Jim Olson: Legal Lion for the Environment

Those working on Michigan environmental issues at any time during the last 50 years have known exactly who the pioneering legal advocate for Michigan’s precious air, water, and land is: FLOW founder Jim Olson. As Jim’s February 26 birthday approaches, it’s time to take stock of all that he’s accomplished in the service of current and future generations.

FLOW Welcomes Development Specialist Tessa Diem

FLOW is excited to announce that Tessa Diem has joined our staff as Development Specialist. Tessa, who lives in Arcadia in Manistee County, has worked in the nonprofit sector since 2014, serving environmental and cultural organizations to advance their missions through program coordination, strategic planning, resource development and communications. We asked Tessa about her connection to the Great Lakes, her favorite place in Michigan, and her favorite Great Lakes fact.

Michigan Lawmakers Must Step Up on Behalf of Our Water

In Michigan, water in its natural state, including groundwater, is held by the state as sovereign for the benefit of the people. Michigan’s 2008 groundwater withdrawal law declares that lakes, streams, and groundwater–indeed springs, seeps, and wetlands–are a singularly connected part of the water cycle. The removal of water from one arc of the water cycle affects the other, often substantially.