Dear friend of FLOW,
You will not find the word “water” on Tuesday’s statewide general election ballot in Michigan—extending a 20-year gap. But you will find water on the ballot in various local communities and in different, more subtle ways across the Great Lakes State.
In some of Michigan’s cities and townships, voters will consider new regulations to safeguard water resources and proposed taxes for sewer and drinking water system improvements. In northwest Michigan’s Leelanau Township, for instance, voters will decide on zoning amendments that proponents say are designed to protect water quality. (Photo of Lake Michigan shore in Port Oneida, Michigan/Gretchen Knoblock)
At the state and county level, the vote could affect whether one of the problems most threatening the state’s waters, an estimated 130,000 failing septic systems, and the investment of several billion dollars in federal aid for water infrastructure needs across Michigan. The races for governor and attorney general promise to decide the fate of the state-ordered shutdown of the dangerous Line 5 pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac, while the winning of each of Michigan’s 13 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives will consider legislation in 2023 to address PFAS, the so-called “forever chemicals,” which have contaminated over 200 sites in Michigan, and to renew federal funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Everywhere you look, water issues color Michigan election choices. When you cast your vote on November 8, remember that more than candidates are on the ballot. In a very real way, so are water and the public trust.
In Remembrance: Beryl Skrocki—a dear friend of FLOW and the Great Lakes—passed away on Oct. 13, 2022, at age 61, after a brief illness. We at FLOW extend our hearts to the Skrocki family and will always remember Beryl, and her positive impact on all people and the freshwater places they love. The Skrocki family is inviting everyone who cherishes fresh water to attend Beryl Skrocki's Grand Celebration of Life on Saturday, November 5, from 12-5 p.m. at their surf shop, Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak, 10228 W Front Street, Empire, Michigan. I encourage you to read this touching tribute to Beryl Skrocki written by a close friend of her family. (Photo of Beryl Skrocki/Courtesy of Ella Skrocki)