Blog Posts

Blog posts by FLOW team and guest writers

FLOW’s statement to Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority

FLOW President Jim Olson made the above statement to the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority during a February 3, 2021, public meeting regarding the Line 5 Easement, Assignment, Tunnel Agreement, and 99-year lease.

FLOW Deeply Disappointed in the State of Michigan’s Environmental Permit Approval for Proposed ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac

Liz Kirkwood, environmental attorney and executive director of FLOW (For Love of Water), reacts to news today that the State of Michigan has granted environmental permit approval for Enbridge’s proposed Line 5 oil tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac: “We are deeply disappointed by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE’s) decision… Read more »

Pandemic Relief, Public Health, and Protecting Our Water

When Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivers her State of the State address at 7 pm tonight—virtually, in compliance with Centers for Disease Control guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic—we hope she continues to voice strong leadership to protect our Great Lakes and ensure access to clean water for all. Fresh water, for drinking, hand washing, and for recreation, is more important than ever before, as our national struggle to contain the Coronavirus reveals our deep, societal inequities. 

The Sixth Great Lake is Under Your Feet

It’s natural to stand on the shoreline of one of the Great Lakes and admire their vastness and majesty. But another abundant water resource in the basin is out of sight and rarely commands such appreciation. That’s groundwater. Between 20-40 percent of the water budget of the lakes (the total water flowing in and out of the system) originates as groundwater. Without this unseen water, the Great Lakes would be dramatically different from those we know. Strengthening public appreciation of and public policy protecting groundwater is a fundamental part of Great Lakes stewardship.

Turning the Tide on National Environmental Policy

The tide has turned. Within hours of taking the oath of office today, President Joe Biden set a new course for national environmental policy. The United States will rejoin the Paris climate accord, undo rollbacks to environmental standards imposed by the former President, expand national monuments on federal land, and more. But what does the change in administrations mean for the Great Lakes? Although President Biden has not set forth any particular Great Lakes policy, it’s not difficult to draw basic conclusions.

Elk Rapids Faces Major Decision on Powerboat Race

Photo courtesy of The author, Nikki Hayes, who grew up in Elk Rapids, Michigan, is a FLOW intern. Currently a junior at Loyola University Chicago (LUC), she has spent her life close to the Great Lakes. While organizers are optimistic that an August powerboat race that would be hosted by Edward C. Grace Memorial Harbor… Read more »

President Biden’s Cabinet All Hands on Deck to Accelerate Energy Transition and Adapt to Climate Change

Photo, clockwise from top-left: Interior Secretary nominee Deb Haaland, Energy Secretary nominee Jennifer Granholm, climate czar Gina McCarthy, Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg, Environmental Protection Agency Secretary nominee Michael Regan, special climate envoy John Kerry. We asked Skip Pruss, FLOW’s former board chair and former director of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic… Read more »

From PBB to PFAS: How We’ve Failed to Protect Our Health and Water from Toxic Chemicals

On Tuesday, January 19, from noon to 1:30 pm, the League of Women Voters/Grand Traverse Area will host FLOW senior policy advisor Dave Dempsey discussing the topic of toxic chemicals present in our groundwater. Almost 50 years ago, Michigan suffered one of the worst human exposures to a toxic chemical in its history when PBB accidently entered the state’s food supply. In more recent years, our exposure to PBDEs and PFAs has raised the question of whether we have learned anything about the dangers persistent chemicals present to human health.