Freshwater Weekly 2/8/18
This week: get your Great Lakes protection project funded! + strange Great Lakes phenomena + winter on Lake Erie + dramatic changes to Michigan environmental law + more ways to make a difference.
OUR 2018 GRANT FUNDS ARE NOW AVAILABLE!
One of the most important and impactful ways Freshwater Future protects the Great Lakes is by making grants to grassroots groups working throughout the region to protect the waters in their communities. We’re now accepting grant applications through April 10, 2018 from grassroots groups engaged in local advocacy efforts to protect shorelines, inland lakes, rivers, groundwater, drinking water, and wetlands in the Great Lakes Basin.
You can find all the details you’ll need to get started on applying for a grant—including the request for proposals—here on our website. And if you’re not part of a grassroots group in need of these funds, help us spread the word by forwarding this email to someone who is.
THAT IS SOME WEIRD, WILD STUFF 😉
There was a “frost quake” in Wisconsin outside Milwaukee, folks in Ontario have spotted ice volcanoes along the shore of Lake Ontario, and the recent tsunami warning in Hawaii reminded us that this phenomenon is rare, but possible, on the Great Lakes. Whoa!
WINTER ON LAKE ERIE
A new exhibit of breathtaking time-lapse videos by an Oberlin, Ohio-based artist highlights the mesmerizing changes Lake Erie undergoes in winter as it moves through cycles of freezing, thawing, shifting, and freezing again.
The videos capture the beauty of the lake in this quiet season, and serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of our year-round work to stop Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms.
MICHIGAN BILLS COULD DRAMATICALLY ALTER ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
Around the Freshwater Future office, we’ve been referring to this set of Michigan bills simply as “the bad bills.” The Traverse City Record Eagle says they’re a case of “the fox guarding the henhouse.”
We do our best to avoid sensational claims and headlines, but we can’t emphasize enough how dramatically these two sets of Michigan bills would undermine existing environmental protections and change how our environmental laws are implemented. If passed, these bills could impact all environmental law in Michigan, for years to come.
- Senate Bill 652 and House Bill 5333 transfer decision-making power from environmental experts to a committee of stakeholders comprised primarily of industry representatives. There is no requirement that committee members have environmental science education, training, or experience—only that they have a stake in the outcome of decisions.
- Senate Bill 653 and House Bill 5332 change the appeal process for environmental permit applicants. DEQ decisions—like denied permits for mining or for development in wetlands—could be appealed to a board of the governor’s political appointees, and their decisions would be final.
TAKE ACTION: Email your Michigan senator and representative today. Tell them you want experts—not industry—making the state’s environmental decisions; tell them to vote “NO” on this collection of bills.
MORE WAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
There are lots of simple ways to help protect our waters. Find more at freshwaterfuture.org/take-action.