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Freshwater Future Weekly: August 20, 2021

Posted on August 24, 2021 by

August 20, 2021

This week: Attention Water Advocates: Apply for Freshwater Future Grants by September 30 + Hope for Chicago Residents through Utility Bill Relief + Don’t Miss Your Opportunity to Speak for Wetland and Stream Protections + State Updates Pellston, MI Community on PFAS Contamination Investigation + Genetic Control Methods Studied to Reduce Invasive Mussels


Attention Water Advocates: Apply for Freshwater Future Grants by September 30

Freshwater Future has been fortunate to provide nearly $5 million in grants to grassroots community organizations over more than 25 years. Community-based and grassroots organizations working on a water issue to encourage permanent change at the corporate, community, or regulatory level may be eligible for funding. You can learn more about our Grants Program by watching this recorded webinar.  


Hope for Chicago Residents through Utility Bill Relief

With one of the largest bodies of freshwater in its backyard, it is unbelievable that many Chicagoans don’t have water service or cannot afford their water bill. The city of Chicago is combating this with their Utility Billing Relief program, but this allows many to fall through the cracks of the program because only homeowners in certain income requirements qualify. For assistance applying for the Utility Billing Relief program, you can connect with one of Freshwater Future’s partners, the Chicago Water Alliance.


Don’t Miss Your Opportunity to Speak for Wetland and Stream Protections 

The U.S. EPA wants to hear from you! They want to hear if you believe the Dirty Water Rule should be repealed and what waterways should be protected under the Clean Water Act. As a reminder, the Dirty Water Rule would wipe out protections from at least 50% of the remaining wetlands and approximately 18% of stream miles across the country, according to the U.S. EPA. Tell the U.S. EPA to repeal this destructive rule today and restore the protections for small streams and wetlands that help cleanse our drinking water of pollution. You can attend and provide comments at one of the remaining public hearings.  


State Updates Pellston, MI Community on PFAS Contamination Investigation

Recently Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) officials gave an update on their investigation to determine the extent of groundwater contaminated by fire retardants containing PFAS chemicals used at the local airport.  The village does not have a public water supply and homeowners source their water from private wells. So far 107 homes have received water filters to reduce the contamination and will need to continue to use the filters until a long-term solution is implemented. 


Genetic Control Methods Studied to Reduce Invasive Mussels 

Zebra mussels have caused angst in the Great Lakes for over 30 years, endangering native species and throwing the aquatic ecosystem out of balance. Scientists are using the DNA blueprint or genome of zebra mussels to identify potential targets to control and reduce populations and impacts.  The work is in its infancy but it may provide options to reduce their threat and reproduction throughout our waters without harming other species in the process. 

@FreshwaterFutur

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