Freshwater Future Weekly: March 17, 2023

This Week: Celebrate Our Freshwater Heroes On March 21st, Now’s The Time: Spring Project Grant Applications Due March 31st, Join the Accelerating Change Webinar on World Water Day, Freshwater Future Celebrates Great Lakes Days In D.C., Water Debt for Residents of New York City Surpasses 1 Billion Dollars, and Upcoming Events
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Celebrate Our Freshwater Heroes On March 21st!

Join us on March 21st at Noon ET to celebrate our 2022 Freshwater Heroes. Talented musician Seth Bernard will kick off the virtual event with a special performance. The celebration honors selected people, organizations and communities throughout the Great Lakes Region who are committed to protecting our Earth’s precious freshwater resources.  Registration is required to attend. You won’t want to miss this inspiring event, plus it is a great way to honor World Water Day a day early! 


Now’s The Time: Spring Project Grant Applications Due March 31st

Are you working on a water issue that needs funding? Freshwater Future’s Spring Project Grant deadline is fast approaching on March 31st! We recommend that all those interested in applying first call Freshwater Future staff to share more about your idea for submitting a project grant proposal. The Project Grants provide funding ranging from $500 to $5,000 (USD) for grassroots projects that promote water protection through advocacy efforts. Contact Laurie Breighner, or (231)348-8200 ext. 107, to check your eligibility, help with your application or to ask questions. Visit our website to see past grant projects and learn more about our grant programs at You can also view the recording of our recent Q&A grant webinar


Join the Accelerating Change Webinar on World Water Day!

World Water Day, celebrated annually since 1993, aims to raise awareness and inspire action to tackle the water and sanitation crisis. In Michigan, unaffordable water rates are on the rise, and urgent action is needed to find a permanent and sustainable solution for all Michiganders. To accelerate positive change, We the People of Detroit is hosting a webinar featuring local, regional, and national water experts including Freshwater Future’s Jill Ryan discussing statewide water affordability. Join the conversation on March 22, 6 pm EST. Register HERE.


Freshwater Future Celebrates Great Lakes Days In D.C.

Great Lakes Days is an annual event when residents and organizations gather to educate and inform decision makers in Washington D.C. about threats to the waters and to uplift the importance for continued support and protection of Great Lakes initiatives and ecosystems with our Congresspeople. Freshwater Future program co-directors Alexis Smith, Anna Bunting, and Kristen Haitaian were joined at this year’s Great Lakes Days by Cassandra Floyd of the West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, Dr. Eric Hellquist of Sterling Water Stewards, Jeff Whitelow of Chicago Water Alliance, and Shannon Abbot of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation. This team attended meetings with Members of Congress to discuss the need for water affordability, affirmative protections for groundwater, and support against privatization of water in their communities. Learn more about Great Lakes Days in our blog!


Water Debt for Residents of New York City Surpasses 1 Billion Dollars 

According to the New York City Water Board, nearly a quarter of city residents are behind on their water bills totaling approximately 1.2 billion dollars in unpaid water debt. A three-month water assistance program will help residents save $150 million in interest when they pay all or part of their overdue water bill during the limited-time program. For any New Yorkers with water debt in the city needing assistance, please visit DEP’s water amnesty website or call (718) 595-7000. Water affordability continues to threaten the health, safety, and dignity of people, and Freshwater Future is committed to bringing you news and actions on water affordability. Want to support affordable water?  Sign on to the Water Affordability Pledge.


Upcoming Events

All About Water Convening – Register Today!

Billions of federal dollars are slated to help communities improve drinking water systems. Register for our upcoming virtual All About Water Convening on April 4th from 9:30 AM – Noon EST, where we’ll have experts speak and conversations on how to ensure that community voices are present during project-planning, ensure that local contractors are utilized, and connect these issues to community action. Now is the time to make sure that unprecedented water infrastructure funding reaches the communities that need it the most. 


Support The Freshwater Future Team At The Big House 5k 

Freshwater Future staff are running at the University of Michigan Atheltics’s 2023 Big House 5k Race on April 16th, 2023. Tickets are sold out to run, but you can still support Freshwater Future by donating to the Freshwater Future Team Page.