Freshwater Weekly 9/14/17

Posted on September 14, 2017 by

This week: take action on the repeal of a popular mining law + Lake Erie algae watch + funding for grassroots groups + ways you can make a difference.


Wisconsin State Senator Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) has introduced a bill that would effectively rescind the state’s popular “Prove It First” law, which currently presents a significant obstacle to the construction of new sulfide mines in Wisconsin. Aquila Resources, a Canadian exploration company that owns the controversial Back Forty mine proposal in Michigan, has expressed interest in several Wisconsin sites, and this bill’s passage would remove the only formidable legal barrier to expanding operations there.

72% of Wisconsinites support “Prove It First” and want it preserved; if you’re one of them, make sure your Wisconsin legislators know it. Learn more about the bill—and how to take action—on our blog.


There’s a pretty significant algal bloom in Lake Erie right now. It’s still safe to recreate in most of the lake except for areas near Maumee Bay State Park and west of south Bass Island in Ohio, but there are visible scums on the water west of Bass Islands. The weather forecasts a wind that may allow more scums to form and push northward, parts of which could hit Pelee Island or possibly the south shore of Ontario.

Lake Erie advocates from both sides of the border joined this week in Waterloo, Ontario to tackle this very problem using innovative technologies. Freshwater Future Executive Director Jill Ryan spoke yesterday at the 2017 Aquahacking Summit, likening Lake Erie to “the canary in the coal mine” when it comes to the health of the Great Lakes and sharing how communities around Lake Erie are working to address the problem of algae.


At Freshwater Future, we’re proud to support grassroots groups working on the ground to protect the water in their communities. Our fall project grant period is closing soon! Don’t miss this opportunity to apply for awards up to $3,500 for projects that promote water protection and restoration. Applications are due September 29, 2017—just two weeks away!

Learn more about our grant programs—or apply for a grant—here.


There are lots of simple ways to help protect our waters. Find more at


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