Dear friend of FLOW,
On March 22, when the United Nations observes World Water Day—the annual event that inspires people around the world to learn more about water-related issues and to take action to make a difference—it will celebrate groundwater for the first time.
Click here or on the image to the right to sign up for our March 22 webinar.
This year’s World Water Day theme is “Groundwater—Making the Invisible Visible.” Groundwater is the largest source of freshwater on earth. However, being stored underneath the surface, it is often overlooked and neglected. The UN’s campaign is built around three main groundwater-related topics: the invisible ingredient in food; a resource without borders; and a finite supply. This “year of groundwater” in 2022 will launch next month during the World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal, and conclude with the Groundwater Summit in Paris in December.
FLOW will share perspectives on groundwater when we host a March 22 webinar from 12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. EST that also promises to “make the invisible visible.” Please click here to register for the free, livestream event. This online session will reveal the critical importance of our groundwater resources and showcase the work of the Michigan Groundwater Table, which is convened by FLOW. The Groundwater Table brings together experienced and influential experts from local government, academia, and regulatory agencies to focus on the state of Michigan’s groundwater, the drinking water source for 45% of Michigan’s population.
Agreeing that groundwater needs to be elevated as a state policy priority for long-term Great Lakes protection, the Groundwater Table has explored how data and scientific knowledge can be used to advance groundwater policy reform and management, enhance public understanding of groundwater-related issues and challenges, develop findings for groundwater protection, and help secure needed resources to better protect human health and the environment.
FLOW Legal Advisor and Groundwater Table convener Skip Pruss will moderate and lead the discussion on March 22, spotlighting co-presenters including Michigan State Rep. Padma Kuppa; Dr. Alan Steinman, Director of the Annis Water Resources Institute at Grand Valley State University; Dave Hamilton, retired MDEQ/TNC groundwater hydrologist; Andrew Hogarth, retired MDEQ Remediation and Redevelopment Division Chief; and Joshua Mosher, Assistant Director, EGLE Remediation and Redevelopment Division.
On World Water Day, you can help FLOW make the invisible visible. Click here to sign up today for our webinar, and we’ll see you there!
Liz Kirkwood, FLOW Executive Director
An Eighth Grader’s Quest to Protect the Great Lakes through Homemade Jewelry
Lucy Jones, a 14-year-old eighth grader at Traverse City West Middle School, cares enough about protecting the Great Lakes to donate sales of her Up North Jewelry to FLOW, which is working with you to keep the Great Lakes public and protected for all. FLOW thrives on these creative collaborations with supporters, activists, and artists of all ages. We spoke with Lucy about what inspired this collaboration.
FLOW Seeks Summer Interns in Communications, Law & Policy
FLOW is seeking interns for summer 2022 in communications and law and policy. Applications will be accepted until the positions are filled. Learn more below and apply today! FLOW is a Great Lakes law and policy center based in Traverse City, Michigan, and operates as an independent, non-partisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We act to protect 20% of the planet’s surface freshwater for the benefit of all by educating and engaging citizens to advance cutting-edge public trust policy solutions.
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 77th birthday approaches on February 26, it’s time to take stock of all that he’s accomplished in the service of current and future generations. Read more here about Jim’s work.
Great Lakes Restoration: Is a New Emphasis Needed?
The more than 5,400 projects funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) have done considerable good, especially in speeding progress toward cleaning up dozens of toxic hotspots in bays and harbors. Even so, completing the job of restoring these areas could take another decade or more. A $1 billion infusion of federal GLRI funding this year provides an important opportunity to take stock of what has been accomplished, what remains to be done, and whether the funding is being used effectively. Read more here.
FLOW to Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority: No Enbridge Oil Tunnel Without Authorization Under Public Trust Doctrine
FLOW submitted the following formal comments to the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority in advance of the Authority’s February 16, 2022, public meeting regarding Enbridge’s oil tunnel proposed through public bottomlands in the Straits of Mackinac. The submission urges the Authority to suspend further consideration of the ill-conceived Line 5 tunnel project until Enbridge seeks and obtains legal authorization to occupy state bottomlands from appropriate state agencies.
Act Now! Let’s Break Free from Plastic Pollution
Plastic pollution is pervasive. You can find it in debris washing up on Great Lakes and ocean beaches, litter clogging streams and inland lakes, industrial chemicals polluting our communities, and in tiny microplastic particles, which have been found from the summit of Mount Everest to the deepest oceans. There is sweeping legislation currently before the U.S. Congress that will help tackle this crisis. Sign the Waterkeeper Alliance’s petition today to show support for the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act!
Urge President Biden to Act and Support Line 5 Shutdown Order
It's time for President Biden to support Gov. Whitmer's Line 5 shutdown order. An oil spill from the Line 5 oil pipeline in the Great Lakes threatens drinking water for 40 million people. He must act now to protect the Great Lakes from Enbridge's damaged, dangerous, and old pipelines. Click here to urge President Biden to act.
March 3 Webinar: What Environmental Justice Means for Cities, featuring FLOW’s Liz Kirkwood
On the frontlines of managing environmental outcomes for their residents, municipalities are increasingly being called on to support environmental justice movements at the local level. This March 3 webinar, held by the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative and featuring FLOW Executive Director Liz Kirkwood, will look at how and why an array of environmental and public health advocates are approaching local councils to adopt motions in support of the human right to water and other environmental justice priorities. This webinar also will review what these motions mean for municipal administrations and their residents. Click here to register.
March 15 to April 21: Jim Olson, FLOW Team Offer Online Classes on "Water & Shoreline" with NMC
Don't miss FLOW founder Jim Olson's "Water & Shoreline" courses offered this winter and spring through Northwestern Michigan College Extended Education. These courses are taught by Jim and the FLOW team, including FLOW Board Member Bob Otwell, Executive Director Liz Kirkwood, Legal Director Zach Welcker, Policy Advisor Dave Dempsey, and Legal Advisor Skip Pruss. The public is invited to sign up and attend these four online courses:
• March 15 & 17-- "For Love of Water and the Future of the Great Lakes";
• April 12 & 14 -- "Can Humans Survive Climate Change?"; and
• April 19 & 21 -- "A Matter of Public Trust: The State of Michigan’s Shutdown of Enbridge’s Line 5 Pipelines" Click here to sign up.
March 22 at Noon: FLOW Groundwater Webinar–Making the Invisible Visible on World Water Day & Every Day
FLOW will host a livestream event–Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible on World Water Day & Every Day–on Tuesday, March 22, 2022, from 12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. EST. The online session will offer perspectives on the critical importance of our groundwater resources and the work of the Michigan Groundwater Table, which is convened by FLOW. The Groundwater Table is made up of 22 knowledgeable and influential stakeholders from local government, academia, and regulatory agencies focused on the state of Michigan’s groundwater, the source of drinking water for 45% of Michigan’s population. Between 20%-40% of the volume of the Great Lakes originates as groundwater.
FLOW in the NEWS:
FLOW’s expert staff members provide key context and analysis to journalists covering freshwater threats and protection. Our full list of media coverage involving FLOW includes these most recent stories:
• Feb. 16—Enbridge gets green light to seek proposals for Line 5 tunnel—Toledo Blade
• Feb. 3—Dempsey: Great Lakes Compact ‘2.0’ necessary to protect against water commodification—Michigan Advance
• Jan. 28—Madcap Coffee joins 1% for the Planet—Grand Rapids Magazine