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Freshwater Weekly – March 23, 2018

Posted on March 23, 2018 by

This week:  Freshwater Future in Washington D.C. +  preventing algal blooms + funding opportunities

FRESHWATER FUTURE WENT TO WASHINGTON

Freshwater Future staff recently traveled to Washington D.C for Great Lakes Day—an annual convening at which residents, grassroots groups, and environmental organizations educate Congress about policies and funding to sustain and improve drinking water infrastructure and conservation programs. More than 120 groups traveled to the capital to meet with members of congress from their respective home states and beyond.

Freshwater Future had the honor of meeting with key members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), including Rep. Bernie Thompson (D-MS), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-SC). We discussed drinking water, stormwater, and wastewater infrastructure upgrades, public health standards to reduce water shutoffs, affordability, and more. Read about our specific “asks” on our blog.


MEMBER HIGHLIGHT: CENTRAL ALGOMA FRESHWATER COALITION

The Central Algoma Freshwater Coalition, long-time partner and Freshwater Future grant recipient, just released A Guide to Sustainable Living in Algoma—an information booklet detailing what property owners can do to preserve water quality and prevent nutrient pollution. While the focus is on their majestic portion of northwest Ontario, this booklet’s recommendations are relevant to everyone living alongside a body of water.

The booklet is just one part of a long-term project. The Coalition monitored phosphorus nutrient levels for two seasons in a host of Central Algoma watersheds. Using those results, they created maps that model those watersheds, surrounding land use, and wetland productivity, and presented recommendations on where and how to reduce algal-bloom-causing nutrient pollution. This type of modeling is crucial to preventing algae growth in the Great Lakes, and their efforts make it easier for organizations like Freshwater Future to focus our efforts on problem areas and hone in on the most-effective solutions. Read more about the Coalition and their work in this article feature.

If your organization or group is doing great things around the Great Lakes, we want to hear about it! Send us a note at info@freshwaterfuture.org.


FRESHWATER FUTURE ON ADVISORY COMMITTEE OF UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN NUTRIENT POLLUTION STUDY

The University of Michigan is wrapping up a study that aims to model nutrient dynamics in the watersheds that drain into the St Clair and Detroit Rivers––relatively understudied sources of nutrient pollution that feed algal blooms in Lake Erie’s western basin. This much-needed study will help governments and organizations like us understand which geographic areas we should prioritize, and what land management practices would be most effective at capturing nutrients like phosphorus before they enter waterways.

As members of the advisory committee, our staff has shaped the policy questions the study will answer. When the results are finalized, we’ll be the first to apply that knowledge to take action.

Read more about the study and its purpose on the University of Michigan’s website.


FUND YOUR PROJECT WITH A FRESHWATER FUTURE GRANT

One of the most important ways Freshwater Future protects Great Lakes waters 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 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. If you have any questions, email becca@freshwaterfuture.org for more information.


WAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

There are lots of simple ways to help protect our waters. Find more at freshwaterfuture.org/take-action.

@FreshwaterFutur

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