Dear friend of FLOW,

“Wise hope.”

That’s what keeps lifelong Canadian water advocate, author, and leader Maude Barlow moving ahead. In an online conversation I had with Maude Wednesday night about her new book, Still Hopeful, Maude spoke often about her conviction that in the face of global environmental crises, wise hope is the best answer.

Maude is a longtime friend of FLOW’s founder, Jim Olson; she’s the author of 20 books, and an instrumental force in the declaration of water as a human right by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010. She speaks and works for maintaining public control of fresh waters like the Great Lakes. She is well aware of the global and local environmental challenges we face, but in her new book, she offers a path forward.

Young people in particular, who may feel overwhelmed by daunting threats like microplastics, toxic chemicals, and climate change, can draw on wise hope to make a difference, Maude observes.

A term coined by author Joan Halifax, wise hope, Maude says, is not the same as passive optimism. Instead, it means looking our problems directly in the eye and taking action.

Wise hope “is the commitment to protect all that is good for future generations and the planet, knowing you can’t control the outcome,” Maude notes.

It was a refreshing conversation with a delightful and thoughtful leader. We thank Maude for taking the time to talk with us, and for her continued work in water advocacy. You can enjoy the visit by watching a recording of the conversation here.

In solidarity,

Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director


High Honors: IAGLR Recognizes FLOW’s Jim Olson & Dave Dempsey

On June 15, the International Association for Great Lakes Research (IAGLR) held an online awards ceremony honoring policy experts, students, scientists, researchers, journalists, and others for their contributions to the understanding and protection of the largest collection of surface fresh water on the planet. We are so proud that among those honored were FLOW’s founder and Senior Legal Advisor Jim Olson and Senior Policy Advisor Dave Dempsey. Jim received one of the inaugural Large Lake Champion Awards, for his “extraordinary knowledge of environmental, water, and public interest law” and “tireless efforts in protecting the environment in and around the Laurentian Great Lakes region, including his founding of the organization For Love of Water (FLOW).” Dave received the John R. (Jack) Vallentyne Award for his policy expertise and authorship of many award-winning books that reflect “important and sustained efforts to inform and educate the public and policymakers on Great Lakes issues, thereby raising awareness and support for protection and restoration.”



Building Consensus: Securing Protection of Michigan's Groundwater

In a new report and story map just released by FLOW, key stakeholders call for change to protect our precious water by making groundwater a state priority for protection and conservation. The report, Building Consensus: Securing Protection of Michigan’s Groundwater, reflects the work of 22 knowledgeable and influential stakeholders from local government, academia, regulatory agencies, and environmental and justice organizations who participated in the Michigan Groundwater Table convened by FLOW. The immersive story map, meanwhile, takes you on a visual journey from the groundwater basics to unique ecosystems, threats, and protection. Dive in here to the report and story map. And don’t miss FLOW Senior Advisor Dave Dempsey’s opinion piece on groundwater protection just published by Bridge Michigan.


Next Generation: Up-and-Coming Leaders Promote a Cleaner, Greener Future

"It strikes me as so sad that litter is something that we as humans are so accustomed to that we hardly notice it if we aren’t actively looking for it," writes Ella Kirkwood, a sophomore at Traverse City Central High School and a member of the Students for Environmental Advocacy Club. "I think promoting an attitude of conservation among my peers is the most important step towards a greener future. We need to create a culture of caring." Read about a recent effort by Ella and three friends to join a local beach cleanup co-sponsored by FLOW, which inspired them to tackle the litter-strewn parking lot at their high school too. Photo by Zac Carsten



Save the Date—July 28 at 11:00 a.m. EDT: Line 5 Livestream with FLOW, Oil & Water Don't Mix, and the Bay Mills Indian Community

FLOW on July 28 at 11:00 a.m. EDT will host a Line 5 Livestream for residents of Mackinac Island, the Straits Area, and beyond, in partnership with the Oil & Water Don’t Mix campaign and the Bay Mills Indian Community. All are welcome to the free, online event, which is supported with a grant award from the Mackinac Island Community Foundation’s Natural Resources and Preservation Fund. Registration details coming soon. Click here to learn more about FLOW’s continuing efforts to protect the Great Lakes from Line 5 and Enbridge’s proposed oil tunnel. Photo Credit: Robert deJonge

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