Dear friend of FLOW,

The future of the Great Lakes demands that we recognize our well-being is inextricably connected to the well-being of others living in a thriving ecosystem. I am reminded of the African philosophy of Ubuntu (“I am because we are”), which applies to our collective call here to protect our fresh water in the Great Lakes Basin. It will take all of us to keep our water public and protected. There won’t be one single solution or one hero.

With that in mind, we’re excited to announce a new business partnership with our friends at Madcap Coffee, the Grand Rapids-based company that announced their membership this week in 1% for the Planet. Madcap will donate 1% of annual sales to support nonprofit organizations focused on the environment, climate change, and water conservation.

To celebrate their 1% membership and to highlight their retail expansion into Leelanau County, Madcap is partnering with FLOW to launch their seasonal Lake Effect winter coffee blend and a supporting merchandise collection. Ten percent of sales of Lake Effect coffee and merchandise online and in Madcap’s cafés in Detroit and Grand Rapids will directly benefit FLOW and our mission to ensure the waters of the Great Lakes Basin are healthy, public, and protected for all.

“As a specialty coffee company operating with both local and national reach, issues like the environment, climate change, and water quality are front of mind at Madcap,” said Madcap Coffee founder and co-CEO Trevor Corlett. Click here to read more about Madcap’s environmental message and support for FLOW.

Remember, FLOW is because we are. Together we stand up for our fresh water.

In solidarity,

Liz Kirkwood, FLOW Executive Director

FLOW Updates:
Governor Whitmer Should Lead on the Environment
As she begins her fourth year in office, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has an opportunity to build on past environmental successes and set the tone for an historic year of accomplishment. Thanks to significant federal COVID-relief aid and a state economy performing better than forecast, Michigan has a rare abundance of funding to attack the state’s multibillion-dollar backlog of sewer, storm, and drinking water infrastructure needs and attend to other urgent environmental needs. FLOW offers a few ways she can strengthen public health protections and restore our environment. Read more here.

Groundwater, though Invisible, Is Critical for Our Survival
What’s the natural resource that is critical to the survival of billions of human beings but invisible to the vast majority of them? The answer is groundwater, both in Michigan and globally. Out of sight, but essential to  our economy and public health, groundwater plays a critical role in Michigan communities, supplying 45 percent of Michigan’s population with drinking water. Yet groundwater is a neglected and much-abused part of our state’s natural endowment. This year, groundwater will be in the spotlight on the annual World Water Day, March 22. Since 1993, World Water Day has underscored the importance of safe, clean, and affordable water, and the threat to human health and survival among the two billion people on Earth who lack access to it. Click here to read more.

Michigan Lawmakers Must Step Up on Behalf of Our Water
It’s time for all legislators regardless of political party to step up on behalf of all of us and protect our public water, assert the human right to water, and prohibit private control and sale of water as a product. Residents in cities and rural villages face water shutoffs because of their inability to pay for the rising costs of infrastructure, or because of the presence of lead or another health threat; it's unconscionable that they should be forced to buy and use bottled water, which is 100 to 1000 times more expensive than what public water service should cost. Read more from FLOW’s Jim Olson.


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!


Tonight (Jan. 27)—2022 Climate Update with Peter Sinclair

The effects of climate change are being seen worldwide and right here in Michigan. Join the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) virtually on January 27 for an in-depth look at the unfolding disaster and a deep discussion on what you can do to become involved in creating solutions that will carry us through it. The evening’s speaker, Peter Sinclair, is a videographer and journalist who has been tracking the science behind climate change through his decades of scientific interviews and visiting regions that are seeing the effects of our warming atmosphere.

NMC Dennos Museum Hosts “Stay Healthy and Strong” Exhibition
How do we as individuals or as a species respond and rebuild after an event such as a hurricane or a global pandemic has dramatically changed our lives? How does the abundance of scientific data facilitate or complicate our own sense of resilience in the face of these global threats? Artist Nathalie Miebach explores these questions in an exhibition co-sponsored by FLOW at Northwestern Michigan College’s Dennos Museum from January 23-May 29. On February 23 at 7 p.m., join Dennos Deputy Director Jason Dake and Miebach for a virtual conversation about her recent work in the exhibition, "Stay Healthy and Strong."



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:

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