We first met Sylvia at a public hearing the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality held about a pending permit application from Nestlé Waters to more than double the amount of water being pumped from their White Pine Springs well in Michigan’s Osceola Township. She’d traveled—along with many others—from her home in Detroit over 200 miles northwest to speak on behalf of water and the Michigan residents who rely on it. She spoke passionately and powerfully, and her strength of purpose electrified the crowd.
As an activist with the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization and the People’s Water Board Coalition, Sylvia is a powerful advocate for water affordability and access. She works tirelessly to ensure that all people—regardless of their race, class, or status—have access to clean, safe, affordable water. Sylvia is an amazing force. We at Freshwater Future are honored to know her, and to recognize her as a Freshwater Hero.