Blog Posts

Blog posts by FLOW team and guest writers

Drink Short’s Beer, “Share the Light” with FLOW

Short’s Brewing Company in Bellaire, Michigan, is stepping up to protect North America’s fresh water—85% of which is held within our Great Lakes. FLOW is one of three nonprofits you can support with each purchase of Local’s Light, as part of the “Share the Light” campaign. Just upload your proof-of-purchase to FLOW’s website. Feel good about what you drink.

FLOW Urges MPSC to Deny Enbridge’s Request for a Free Pass on Siting a ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel in the Straits of Mackinac

Photo of the Mackinac Bridge and Straits of Mackinac by Kathryn DePauw. The Michigan Public Service Commission should reject Enbridge’s attempt to dodge the legal review process required to replace and relocate the segment of the Line 5 oil pipeline crossing the Straits of Mackinac into a $500 million proposed tunnel pipeline project, according to… Read more »

Mother’s Day Words from Mothers at FLOW

Photo: from left-to-right, Miles, Liz, and Ella Kirkwood Haiku to My Children By Liz Kirkwood, FLOW Executive Director Toe. Dip. Jump. Splash. Smile. Brave you are. I am in awe. Water unites us. Small Gestures By Diane Dupuis, FLOW Development Director My daughter filling the kettle to make my scratchy throat a cup of tea,… Read more »

FLOW & Straits of Mackinac Alliance Urge State of Michigan to Suspend Review of Enbridge’s Application for a ‘Line 5’ Oil Tunnel

The State of Michigan was right this week to suspend consideration of Enbridge’s April 7, 2020, application for construction permits to dig an oil tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac and place a pipeline in it until the Canadian energy-transport giant corrects deficiencies, including the failure to consider viable alternatives to the risky project and… Read more »

The Drinking Water Source We Forget: Telling the Story of Groundwater

As is the case with surface water sources of drinking water, those who depend on city or individual wells cannot always count on the water that comes out of their taps to be safe for consumption. In fact, individual wells may pose a greater risk, because there is no routine government monitoring of them for contaminants. Utilities that provide groundwater-sourced drinking water must test and analyze frequently.

Earth Day at 50: Observing Natural and Political Cycles

When I look back at 1970 later in life, as an amateur environmental historian, I can fully appreciate what happened that year. It wasn’t just April 22—the first celebration of Earth Day—it was 12 months of successful citizen work to raise consciousness and pass new federal and state laws that revolutionized America’s treatment of air, water, land, fish, and wildlife. Michigan was a national leader on the environment throughout 1970. Every time I think of Michigan in 1970, I am deeply grateful to the many largely unsung citizens who pressured elected officials to conserve and protect the environment. We owe them a great debt for reforms that persist today.

Earth Day Against the Backdrop of the Events of 1970

The first Earth Day celebration at University of Michigan did not wait until April 22, 1970, the date Wisconsin’s Senator Gaylord Nelson had set for environmental teach-ins across the country. In Ann Arbor, this history-changing observation blasted off March 11 when 15,000 people jammed U-M’s Crisler Arena, and thousands more crowded its parking lot. The four-day happening was sponsored by a new U-M organization, Environmental Action for Survival of the Planet (ENACT), and it was successful beyond the wildest dreams of its young organizers.

Progress at Home, What About the Planet?

Acting locally has gotten us clean air and water, but what has it done for Earth Aren’t we rather arrogant to relish our environment while importing cheap manufactured goods made by people choking on their air and vomiting from their water? Will countries continue to meet carbon dioxide emission targets by sending manufacturing to countries without targets? Sustainability of climate and health demands a much less myopic view of Earth thinking/acting than the first 50 years of celebrating Earth Day has given us.