Dear friend of FLOW,
Some initiatives warrant waking up early, even on a sleepy weekend morning. This past Saturday, my family and I and other FLOW colleagues joined a beach cleanup on East Grand Traverse Bay organized by our friends at M-22 and GoSili. Thirty-four hearty people showed up, including my daughter Ella and her high school environmental club classmates, who felt so inspired that they kept going after the beach cleanup and picked up debris at the parking lot at Traverse City Central High School, too.
Our group filled four large burlap bags with trash, much of it plastic that would otherwise break down into microplastic pollution that would be far more difficult to recover.
“Tourists also have a big impact on the beaches by bringing new trash to the areas and not remembering to take it with them when they leave,” FLOW development specialist Tessa Diem pointed out. “So, this was a great spring cleaning to get the beaches to a nice base level.”
The amount of trash that people leave on the beach and the microplastics threatening our ecosystem offer sobering reminders of our personal and collective responsibilities. So, too, does the size of the water footprint of the average U.S. resident, second worldwide only to that of the United Arab Emirates. Nevertheless, the determination and passion of ordinary citizens—and young leaders among us—to make a difference and protect our precious Great Lakes gives me a groundswell of hope.
Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director
P.S. – I can’t wait to build on my feeling of hope when FLOW hosts world-renowned author and water activist Maude Barlow for a livestream conversation on June 15 about her new book, Still Hopeful: Lessons from a Lifetime of Activism. Scroll down for the details.