Freshwater Weekly 7/27/17: How Donor Dollars Protect Our Waters

Posted on July 27, 2017 by

This week: how donor dollars protect our waters + more ways you can make a difference.


This summer, Freshwater Future has expanded our efforts to protect the waters we all depend on for drinking, recreation, and economic stability. We’re proactively anticipating and meeting challenges whenever and wherever our Great Lakes are threatened. Will you help us keep fighting by making a donation today? Here’s how donor dollars are helping to protect our waters. . .


Twice now—for both the 2017 and 2018 federal budgets—President Trump has proposed a 100% cut to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) and a more than 30% cut to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the agency we all rely on to safeguard our water from our beaches to our taps. Twice now, Freshwater Future has activated our network of Great Lakes advocates and joined the chorus of voices calling for full funding and strong protection, and twice now Congress has listened.

In May, Congress restored 100% of GLRI funding to the 2017 budget and cut the EPA budget by only 1%. For 2018, the budget just released by the House Appropriations Committee again funds the GLRI at 100% and avoids the significant cuts proposed to the EPA.


Residents of Flint, Michigan have been without clean drinking water since April 25, 2014. Today thousands face shutoffs and foreclosure for past due water bills, while they pay the highest rates in the country. At Freshwater Future, we believe everyone deserves safe, affordable drinking water, so we’re hard at work in Flint.

With the help of our generous donors, we support grassroots advocacy and promote inclusiveness in decision-making so that a diversity of voices are heard and all residents can provide input on long-term solutions. We’re helping to raise money so that water service can be restored to some of Flint’s most disadvantaged residents, and we’re calling upon the governor of Michigan to reinstate the water credits that provide relief to Flint and its residents.


The recent capture of a live silver carp just nine miles from Lake Michigan has reinvigorated our efforts to prevent the spread of these invasive and destructive fish. Because of your advocacy, the Army Corps of Engineers completed the Brandon Road Study 18 months ahead of schedule. This report, which details how best to prevent the spread of Asian carp, was to be released in February but has been blocked by the Trump administration.

Freshwater Future is engaging our network to urge Congress to support the Stop Asian Carp Now Act and demand the release of the Brandon Road Study so that we can prevent a large scale invasion of our Lakes.


The forecast was just released, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a severe algal bloom this summer. Together with our network of Lake Erie advocates and Great Lakes protectors, we’re educating the public and calling upon the governments along Lake Erie to take stronger, more proactive steps to reduce the runoff pollution that leads to these toxic algal blooms each summer.


Extraction of precious metals like copper, nickel, and gold can lead to sulfuric acid pollution of local waterways, devastating fish populations and destroying aquatic ecosystems. Freshwater Future actively supports grassroots groups in communities around the northern Great Lakes that are working to track activities at these mines, critique mining permits, and mobilize to protect their waters from potential pollution.


In the Straits of Mackinac, a 64-year-old pipeline transports nearly 23 million gallons of crude oil a day through Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Recent risk assessments and alternatives studies not only raise serious concerns about the safety of the pipeline, but also emphasize the importance of subjecting other means of transporting oil and gas—such as rail or merchant ship—to similar scrutiny for threats to water quality.

With your help, we’re tracking a variety of possible solutions and working to ensure that, whatever happens with Line 5, we keep oil out of the Great Lakes.


Over the last six months, threats to our lakes, rivers, wetlands, and shorelines have been coming at rapid fire. Will you help us keep fighting by making a donation today? It’s the generosity of concerned Great Lakes citizens like you that makes this vital work possible, and we can’t do it without you.

With your generous support, we’ll keep fighting to ensure the healthy future of our waters, from source to tap. Together, we can protect the largest source of surface freshwater on Earth—for generations to come.

Thank you for standing with us to protect our waters and our way of life.



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