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Freshwater Future Weekly: June 25, 2021

Posted on June 25, 2021 by

THIS WEEK: Toledo Water Council and Junction Coalition Collaborative Successes + Freshwater Future’s Own Jill Ryan Speaks at Bay View + Federal Review of Line 5 Pipeline Will Be In-Depth Environmental Analysis + Judge Blocks Golf Course Permit, Preserving Wetlands and Dunes on Lake Michigan + Benton Harbor and Highland Park Speak to USEPA to Get Lead Out of Drinking Water + Harmful Algal Blooms Impact Air and Water


Toledo Water Council and Junction Coalition Collaborative Successes

Two powerful community advocacy groups in Toledo, the Junction Coalition and the Toledo Water Council, have managed to make great headway to press for policies in the best interest of their residents. Together, these groups have moved the City to pass a water debt forgiveness ordinance, water protections for tenants ordinance, a contract with a premier consultant for a water affordability study, and so much more. Click HERE to learn more about the slew of accomplishments these local groups have accomplished.


Freshwater Future’s Own Jill Ryan Speaks at Bay View

Freshwater Future’s Executive Director, Jill Ryan, will be a special guest speaker for Bay View Association ‘Scarrow Friday Forum’ on July 9th. The discussion will talk about the special qualities of the Great Lakes that make them so important, as well as highlighting issues of concern in the region and the solutions Freshwater Future brings to those concerns. Topics will include: rebuilding trust in water in Flint and beyond; pushing for faster notification of residents when water contamination is found; ensuring protections are enforced to protect our rivers, lakes and wetlands from acid mine drainage; and more.  If you are in northern Michigan, please join us!


Federal Review of Line 5 Pipeline Will Be In-Depth Environmental Analysis

Tens of thousands have weighed in on the proposal to develop a new utility tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac, where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron.  The tunnel would house, among other utilities, a replacement of the existing controversial 63-year old oil transportation pipelines currently running in the same area. Tighter scrutiny is needed because the Canadian company that operates the pipelines and wishes to build the tunnel has not provided sufficient information in permit applications about the project, including risks to water and people, design gaps and consideration of tribal cultural resources. Freshwater Future applauds the efforts of countless residents, organizations and tribes who have pushed for this tighter scrutiny.


Judge Blocks Golf Course Permit, Preserving Wetlands and Dunes on Lake Michigan

A Sheboygan County Judge dismissed Kohler Co.’s lawsuit regarding a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) permit that allowed for the filling of wetlands near the Lake Michigan coast. This decision affirmed a previous judge’s decision that the “WDNR should not rely on vague promises” from development projects when it comes to the protection of groundwater and wetlands. Freshwater Future has awarded multiple grants to Friends of Black River Forest to assist in their legal battle to help preserve coastal wetlands in Wisconsin. 


Benton Harbor and Highland Park Speak to USEPA on Changes to the Lead and Copper Rule

The Michigan cities came together during a call with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and highlighted key points that are affecting their communities as well as communities across the country. The lead pipes within our infrastructure are beyond their useful lifespans and protecting residents from harm is paramount. Freshwater Future staff member Brandon Tyus was able to support residents’ voices on the call, Follow us on Facebook to see more. 


Harmful Algal Blooms Impact Air and Water

Your typical morning jog alongside the lake or Saturday fun day at the lake can possibly make you ill. Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are currently studying the impacts of toxins that are released from algae blooms when algae is disturbed. To avoid exposure, reduce contact with algae blooms when enjoying the lake and consider another outdoor location when waves are rough.

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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.