Freshwater Future Weekly: September 8, 2022

This Week: The Freshwater 2020-2021 Annual Report is Here!; Fall Project Grant Deadline Approaching; Take Five Minutes to Guide Freshwater Future’s Strategic Planning Process; Speak Out On Drinking Water Issues at Upcoming Public Hearings; Take Action Against 162,000 Acre Land Expansion In Michigan for the National Guard; Jackson, Mississippi Considers Privatization of Water Systems to Solve Water Crisis
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The Freshwater Future 2020-2021 Annual Report is Here! 

From celebrating wins with our Freshwater Heroes to awarding grants, read all about our year in review in our Freshwater Future 2020-2021 Annual Report. Click here to check out the report. We have a limited number of printed copies available. If you would like one mailed to you, send a request to

Fall Project Grant Deadline Approaching

The deadline for Freshwater Future’s Fall Project Grants is fast approaching, with applications being due September 30th. Currently, we have more dollars available to support this program, making it a great time to apply for funds to support advocacy efforts to protect or improve drinking water, rivers, lakes, wetlands, shorelines, and groundwater in the Great Lakes region. To view a recording of our Grants Q & A Webinar we hosted on August 24th, click here. Visit our grants portal to find out how to apply! Any questions regarding applications can be directed to, or To call, 231-348-8200.

Take Five Minutes to Guide Freshwater Future’s Strategic Planning Process

Your opinion matters! Freshwater Future is working on a new Strategic Plan to guide our work for the coming 3 years. These plans ensure we align our short and long-term goals strategically based on the needs of our members and partners. Please take a few minutes to provide your feedback to the process by answering some quick questions here.

Speak Out on Drinking Water Issues at Upcoming Public Hearings

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Environment (EGLE) is holding two public hearings on September 8th and 12th. The hearing on the 8th aims to gather public comments on the proposed definitions of “significantly overburdened community” and “overburdened community” as well as the scoring criteria that will prioritize projects for drinking water issues to receive funds through state loan programs called State Revolving Funds (SRFs). Sign up for the online Zoom meeting on Thursday, September 8th at 3:30-5:30 PM EST here.

Freshwater Future just submitted comments and will highlight these during the hearing. We encourage residents to attend, too, and amplify these ideas that will ensure that this money flows to the communities that need it the most, accelerates lead service line replacements, and helps keep water affordable in Michigan.

The information for the September 12th hearing is available here

Take Action Against 162,000 Acre Land Expansion in Michigan for the National Guard 

The Michigan National Guard is requesting to lease an additional 162,000 acres of state recreation lands around the Camp Grayling training facility, more than doubling their current lease of 148,000 acres. The National Guard plans to conduct electronic warfare training in the expanded lease area. Past training activities at the Camp resulted in contamination of the drinking water source from toxic fire-fighting foams that contain PFAS. Freshwater Future opposes the expansion and the threats to headwaters of several cold-water rivers and fragile wetlands in the proposed expansion area in the 20-year lease. Please share your opinion and concerns about the project here

Jackson, Mississippi Considers Privatization of Water Systems to Solve Water Crisis 

In Jackson, Mississippi, hundreds of thousands of residents are without water as a result of decades old infrastructure that has been on the decline thanks to failures to upgrade the water system. Now as the city looks towards long-term solutions to the crisis, Governor Reeves says privatizing the system is  “on the table”. However, many have criticized the privatization, including Jackson Mayor Lumumba. Long-awaited repairs and replacement to the infrastructure of the water system are needed in order to achieve reliable and equitable water for the community. Freshwater Future opposes privatization of water and water systems, as water is a critical human right that should remain in the public trust.