Freshwater Future Weekly: February 25, 2022

THIS WEEK: Communications Grants Filling the Gap + All About Water Convening + Ontario’s Water Infrastructure, Much Like in the U.S., Needs Support + Your Voice on Michigan’s Healthy Climate Plan + Save the Date-Freshwater Heroes Celebration, March 22, 2022
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Communications Grants “Filling the Gap”

A new website created for the Benton Harbor Community Water Council will help them reach even more people in the community to provide information on how to stay safe from lead in drinking water. Now residents can sign-up to receive emails about where to get bottled water or filters. The new website will help the Community Water Council build a stronger voice for ensuring Benton Harbor residents have clean water! This is just the first of many new websites to come through our Community Based Communications Grants program.  Alexis Smith manages this program for Freshwater Future and when asked about the program shared, “What I enjoy most about this project is being able to fill the gap that the technological divide has created between grassroots organizations and their opportunities. Now, even groups with smaller capacities can have their voices heard and their work given the platforms they deserve.”


All About Water Convening Focused on Accessing Federal Infrastructure Funds 

In the next five years, there will be billions in federal funds to help communities upgrade water infrastructure.  Thanks to the dynamic speakers at the All About Water Session last week for inspiring participants to take actions to ensure their communities can access these funds to improve the safety of drinking water.

Missed the event?  Watch the recording on Freshwater Future’s YouTube Channel.

Ohio’s Deadline for Communities to Submit Application for State Revolving Funds Approaching–March 4

Ohio municipalities have until March 4, 2022 to nominate local water infrastructure projects for the annual State Revolving Fund. Certain project types, such as lead service lines, PFAS, and Harmful Algal Blooms, are accepted at any time. Talk to your neighbors and encourage your local government to pursue this record-level clean water funding soon – the process can take time and the extra funding ends in 5 years.


Ontario’s Water Infrastructure, Much Like in the U.S., Needs Support

In Toronto, there was an oil spill into the Don River as well as water flooded streets and transit stations. In Brampton there were floods requiring evacuations. There were ice jams and flooding in Port Stanley, and a water main break in Guelph. Together these stories highlight the need for Ontario Helping Municipalities Build Storm and Wastewater Infrastructure. Currently the provincial government is investing $25 million to build clearly needed infrastructure. These funds are split with $15 million going to improve aging and outdated storm and wastewater infrastructure and $10 million going to upgrade sewage monitoring and public reporting. This investment should help improve Ontarians’ access to clean water, but much more will be needed.


Your Voice is Needed on Michigan’s Healthy Climate Plan

In January, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) released the draft MI Healthy Climate Plan that lays out a broad vision on how the state can reach carbon neutrality by 2050, a goal set by Governor Whitmer. While there are many positive elements of the plan it lacks the urgency and details to turn the vision into reality. Please share your support for the Climate Plan and the need for more swift timelines and bolder actions by emailing EGLE today through our online take action form. (Deadline for comments is March 14, 2022).


Save the Date–Freshwater Heroes Celebration, March 22, 2022

You are invited to the 2021 Freshwater Heroes Celebration! Please join us on World Water Day, Tuesday, March 22nd at Noon (ET) as we honor several people, organizations, and communities throughout the Great Lakes Region who are committed to protecting our earth’s precious freshwater resources. This live virtual celebration is open to the public! This is a free event, but pre-registration is required.