Dear friend of FLOW,

We are excited to share the details with you about several events we have on tap. First up is “The Latest on Line 5,” our webinar set for today (July 28) at 11 a.m. EDT. We’ll join Oil & Water Don’t Mix, in partnership with the Bay Mills Indian Community, for a livestream event to share insights about recent developments in the effort to shut down Enbridge’s nearly 70-year-old Line 5 oil pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac and stop the proposed oil tunnel. The online session is supported in part by a grant from the Mackinac Island Community Foundation’s Natural Resources and Preservation Fund. Please click here to register.

It’s vital that we keep building the movement to shut down Line 5 so that we don’t relive the tragedy caused by Enbridge in southern Michigan in 2010. As a sobering reminder, this past Monday marked the 12-year anniversary of the disastrous Line 6B oil spill into the Kalamazoo River—one of the largest inland oil spills in U.S. history. As I reflected in a video filmed on Monday, “We will never forget the Kalamazoo River spill.”

Meanwhile, as we fight important environmental battles here in the Great Lakes watershed, FLOW founder Jim Olson writes that the Supreme Court’s calamitous decision to weaken federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions will effectively let the country burn as we ignore our collective responsibility to curb the effects of climate change.

Despite the environmental threats and setbacks, we continue to stand up and speak out to protect our Great Lakes and all who depend on them. We also seek out and share sources of wisdom and inspiration, including the effort to establish the long-overdue Library of the Great Lakes in order “to inspire and support exploration of the science, history, literature, arts, and cultures of the Great Lakes region.” It’s a must read. And I also encourage you to soak up the story of intern, creative writer, and environmental optimist Kelli Fitzpatrick, who this summer assisted FLOW in researching and writing about the threat of water commercialization and the ethics of water stewardship.

We hope to see you soon—at the shore, our events, and our door at 440 West Front Street in downtown Traverse City.

In solidarity,

Liz Kirkwood, 
Executive Director


  • Please help us spread the word: We are hiring our first full-time Communications Coordinator. We seek a skilled visual storyteller responsible for planning, coordinating, and producing FLOW’s digital and print communications, events, and marketing. Click here to read the full job description and learn how to apply.

  • Getting in tune and in the flow to support FLOW—Through this September, FLOW supporter Amy Younkman is donating the proceeds of her weekly yoga class at Chimney Corners near Frankfort to support FLOW and our mission to protect the Great Lakes; learn more. And FLOW business partner Naperala Consulting is hosting a concert in August with musician Seth Bernard to benefit FLOW and the Traverse City swim-dive team. Buy your tickets today!


August 25—National Writers Series: Featuring Authors Jerry Dennis and Dave Dempsey

Join nationally-renowned author Jerry Dennis and FLOW senior policy advisor Dave Dempsey—two of Michigan’s acclaimed environmental authors—for a conversation on August 25 at 7 p.m. EDT about the stories they tell in their books and how we can keep the Great Lakes great for generations to come. If you love the Great Lakes and storytelling about them, you won’t want to miss this event hosted by the National Writers Series. Get your in-person or livestream tickets today. And because you are a friend of FLOW, be sure to use the special "Save5" promo code for $5 off in-person tickets purchased online, by phone, or at the City Opera House.

Aug. 22-Sept. 3 (exact date TBD)—Jake Bright to Swim the Manitou Passage to Benefit FLOW, North Manitou Light Keepers 

Traverse City native Jake Bright will solo swim 6.91 miles across Lake Michigan's Manitou Passage to the lighthouse on South Manitou Island in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore for charity, with 100% of donations will benefit nonprofits FLOW and North Manitou Light Keepers.

Bright, a trained open water swimmer, will pursue the first official solo swim of the Manitou Passage following USA Swimming’s open water rules, including the use of a buoyancy neutral wetsuit and without any aids, such as fins, paddles or flotation devices. The specific date of the swim will depend on weather conditions, and will occur between August 22 and September 3 and—upon completion—will receive ratification by the World Open Water Swim Association.

“The incredible fresh water of Lake Michigan and the amazing beauty of the Sleeping Bear Dunes are central to my upbringing, so I want to do something inspiring and charitable to celebrate them,” Bright said. Follow the event on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #ManitouSwim. Click to learn more & donate. 

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