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Dear friend of FLOW,

In the Northern Hemisphere, spring and hope arrive together as twins. This is the time when the Earth seems slowly, and then suddenly, to come alive again. It’s also the time when we set aside a moment to recognize, celebrate, and rededicate ourselves to the protection of the planet: Earth Day is this Friday, April 22.

If we look beneath the surface, we know the Earth has been alive all winter. And if we look past the headlines, we see hope that abounds this Earth Day.

In this update, we highlight free public events on Earth Day involving FLOW and our partners that provide the opportunity to clean up, listen, learn, celebrate, and connect with others interested in making a difference. Scroll down for the details. And consider these other events too, including an Indigenous Earth Day Celebration on April 21 in St. Ignace and more Earth Day activities around the Great Lakes Basin.

We also bring urgent, yet hopeful, perspectives, including news of a June 15 FLOW livestream featuring internationally renowned water guardian Maude Barlow and her new book, Still Hopeful, reflecting on the lessons of her lifelong advocacy of water as a human right.

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness,” said Archbishop Desmond Tutu. “You see it wonderfully when you fly and the sky is overcast. Sometimes you forget that just beyond the clouds the sun is shining.”

This Earth Day we remember that our planet is always alive, and that we can keep it whole and healthy through our work. Thank you for contributing to hope.

In solidarity,

Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director

P.S. – We’ve moved: FLOW’s office has moved a few blocks west to a new location at 440 West Front St., Suite 100, in Traverse City. We’re next to Kids Creek, just a couple blocks south of the azure waters of West Grand Traverse Bay. Stop by and visit us!

PERSPECTIVE: 
The Geography of Hope: Anchored in Our Precious Great Lakes
In his 1960 Wilderness Letter, conservationist and author Wallace Stegner famously coined the phrase “geography of hope,” referring to the impulse that led Americans to the wilderness idea. Now, in 2022, comes another prophet of hope, Maude Barlow. Click here to read FLOW’s blog about Barlow. A lifelong and world-renowned champion of water, Maude has authored a book built on her career of activism. Its title, appropriately, is Still Hopeful: Lessons from a Lifetime of Activism.
Save the Date: FLOW will host a livestream book event featuring Barlow on Wednesday, June 15, at 6:00 p.m. EDT. Stay tuned for registration information coming soon.

An Earth Day Review: The Michigan Environmental Protection Act in 2022
The Michigan Environmental Protection Act’s use as an essential legal tool has never been more important or in greater need than right now. FLOW will be relentless in our efforts to ensure that MEPA is properly invoked to protect the public trust in all our vital natural resources. One of the leading champions and practitioners of 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. Click here to read Skip Pruss’ blog.
EARTH DAY EVENTS: 
April 22, 5:30-7:30 pm: Earth Day Beach Cleanup in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Join FLOW for an Earth Day beach cleanup–in partnership with Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak, the Surfrider Foundation Northern Michigan Chapter, Friends of Sleeping Bear Dunes, and Beth Price Photography, with support from Grocer’s Daughter Chocolate and S’well. At 5:30 p.m. on April 22, we’ll meet at North Bar Lake in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to learn from a lakeshore biologist about the importance of the ecosystem, and then we’ll spread out to clean it up. Click here to learn more. (Image by Beth Price Photography).

April 22, 12-8 pm: NMC Hosts Free Earth Day Concert in Traverse City
A free outdoor Earth Day concert and celebration from noon until 8 p.m. on April 22 will kick off a week of events marking Earth Day on the main campus of Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City. Bands featured include headliners Erin Zindle and the Ragbirds, with Jimmy Olson/Friends, and more. Production support and planning provided by NMC Audio Tech students, along with NMC Student Life and Student Government. The concert will celebrate Earth Day and focus on environmental issues, especially water. Along with the music, information tables will be offered by campus and community groups including NMC Water Studies, the NMC Green Team, FLOW, Title Track, and more. See you there!

April 22, 4-5 pm: Bay Books Hosts Great Lakes for Sale Author Dave Dempsey
The Suttons Bay bookstore Bay Books will host Great Lakes for Sale author—and FLOW senior policy advisor—Dave Dempsey on April 22, from 4-5 pm, for a Q&A, a FacebookLive interview and book signing. Dempsey has helped shape conservation and Great Lakes policy for 30 years and has authored and co-authored eight conservation books. He is a Great Lakes policy expert and environmental historian, and biographer of the late Michigan Gov. William Milliken. Click here to learn more about the event.
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