Blog Posts

Blog posts by FLOW team and guest writers

Groundwater Threats: Michigan Should Act with Urgency to Pass a State Law to Control TCE

The many chemical contaminants in Michigan’s groundwater, coupled with the lack of environmentally sustainable federal and state chemical policies, continue to put Michigan at risk. An example is trichloroethylene (TCE), a cancer-causing manufactured chemical that has contaminated groundwater at more than 300 locations in Michigan. In 2020, Minnesota became the first state in the country to outlaw many remaining uses of TCE. Michigan should follow suit.

Green Infrastructure: Using and Mimicking Nature for Climate Resilience

FLOW intern Henry Ludwig recently found myself stuck in a downpour in the streets of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and witnessed green infrastructure in action. Green infrastructure represents a return to nature with hopes of fixing the problems of a human-centered world. The infrastructure solutions take a step back from the traditional vision of civil engineering. Rather than attempting to exert control over water, it gives water natural places to flow.

Line 5 Oil Tunnel: U.S. Army Corps Environmental Study Marks a Return to the Rule of Law

In recognition of the critical importance of the Great Lakes and the rule of law, citizens and communities battling the existential threat of climate change won an important victory when the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced June 23 they will conduct an environmental impact statement (EIS) for Enbridge’s proposed Line 5 oil tunnel.

SW Detroit Community Care Cleans Basements after Historic Flooding

On the heels of the “once in 100 years” flooding event in 2014, nearly seven inches of rainfall overwhelmed the City of Detroit’s wastewater treatment facilities on Friday, June 25, and the following morning. As a result, rain and sewer water flooded basements all across the city. As soon as neighbors began reporting flooded basements, organizers with SW Detroit Community Care (SWDCC), a mutual aid coalition operating within Southwest Detroit, sprang into action, recruiting volunteers through social media to clean basements for whomever needed it.

Exploring the Soul of Place: New Book Conveys Stories of Northwest Michigan

Author Timothy Mulherin’s new book, Sand, Stars, Wind, & Water: Field Notes from Up North, sees the Grand Traverse region through the eyes of a frequent visitor who has fallen in love with its natural beauty and character. In this interview with FLOW, Mulherin talks about what inspired him to write the book—and the good and bad he sees on his saunters along the shoreline.

Founding FLOW Board Member Royce Ragland: Public Trust Combines Policy, Stewardship, Theology and Philosophy

“It was 10 years ago that I first met Jim Olson, and I invited him to be a guest speaker for Green Elk Rapids,” recalls Royce Ragland, the organization’s co-founder and a founding FLOW board member. “He talked about his favorite thing—the public trust. I was just so taken with the idea. It’s an old thought. It combines everything from policy to stewardship to theology to philosophy. I loved it.”

Paddling for Change, from the Mackinac Bridge to Lansing

Childhood friends William Wright and Chris Yahanda wanted to do their part to protect the Great Lakes and to urge Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to shut down the Line 5 oil pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac. So they decided to paddle board from the governor’s mansion on Mackinac Island to the governor’s residence at the State Capitol in Lansing.

It’s Raining PFAS

By Dave Dempsey Every now and then an environmental news headline jumps out at you as though it were printed in 12-inch-tall type on a newspaper front page or web site. It’s not necessarily because of its significance when compared to other news, but because of the personal reaction it triggers. Such was the case… Read more »