Blog Posts

Blog posts by FLOW team and guest writers

The Edenville Dam Failure and Flooding Disaster in Midland County

The accounts of the failure of the Edenville dam on the Tittabawassee and Tobacco Rivers and the devastating damage and threat to safety and life beg the question: How did the owner and a dam stamped as a red-zone for hazardous risk escape regulatory enforcement before it failed? Who is responsible? What’s really behind dam failures, infrastructure collapse, and increasing events across the country with catastrophic loss to people, communities, property, and quality of life?

An Enbridge Oil Spill on My Grandparents’ Farm

Photo: The clean up on the Zinn family farm in Marshall, Michigan, after Enbridge’s Line 6B failed a decade ago on July 25, 2010, eventually contaminating nearly 40 miles of the Kalamazoo River and its watershed with a million gallons of tar sands oil, sickening more than 300 people, permanently driving more than 150 people… Read more »

Documenting the Impact of High Water on Businesses, Livelihoods

Photo of flooding in Fishtown Leland by Isaac Dedenbach Fluctuating Great Lakes water levels are nothing new. Since records have been kept, Great Lakes levels have varied by approximately 6 feet. What is new is a rapid swing from record-low levels as recently as 2013 to record highs today. According to statistics from the US… Read more »

FLOW, Environmental, and Tribal Groups Urge U.S. Army Corps to Reject Enbridge Line 5 Tunnel Permit

Enbridge’s request for federal approval of a Line 5 replacement oil pipeline in a proposed tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac should be rejected to protect the Great Lakes from the continued risk of a catastrophic oil spill and a pipeline that is no longer needed, 10 leading environmental and tribal groups said Tuesday in comments to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Citing a federal court order on July 6 involving the Dakota Access pipeline that also involves Enbridge, the groups told the Army Corps it cannot give rubber-stamp permit approval to Enbridge’s massive Great Lakes oil pipeline tunnel construction project.

Plastics and the Pandemic

The founder of an initiative to prevent aerial litter and plastic pollution from intentional balloon releases remains committed to the cause. This month is Plastic Free July and millions of people have joined the global movement, signing a pledge to use less plastic at home, work, school, and in their communities.

Michigan’s Lake Erie Cleanup Plan Falls Short

A draft plan prepared by state government agencies to reduce phosphorus pollution and algae blooms in Michigan-controlled waters of Lake Erie will not deliver on the state’s commitments, FLOW said in comments submitted to the state this month.

High Water, Public Rights, and Michigan Shoreland Protection

Water levels in Lake Huron and Lake Michigan won’t drop anytime soon. Private waterfront homeowners rush to save their homes from loss. Citizens seek to preserve their public right to a walkable beach along the shore below the natural high water mark, and the State of Michigan and municipalities struggle to save valuable infrastructure for water, sewage, roads, dams, parks, and recreation.