Freshwater Future Weekly: October 11, 2019

Posted on October 12, 2019 by

October 11, 2019

This week: Great Lakes Loses Advocate Lee Botts at age 91 + Solar Energy Lighting Up Detroit Homes + Students Release Lake Sturgeon Fingerlings to Lake Ontario + No Strategy to Test Animals or Alert the Public Regarding Contaminated Milk

Great Lakes Loses Advocate Lee Botts 

Lee Botts, a true Great Lakes advocate passed away this weekend at 91.  Lee was instrumental in getting important legislation passed including the Clean Water Act and Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Even more impactful was her work to found several organizations over the years committed to helping protect and improve the health of the Great Lakes, including the Lake Michigan Federation (now Alliance for the Great Lakes).  In fact, without Lee’s work, Freshwater Future may not exist. Lee was a seemingly tireless advocate for protecting our waters. She stood for the health of waters before that was mainstream, and continued throughout her life. Freshwater Future recognized Lee as a Freshwater Hero in 2018.  She will be sorely missed from the movement.

Solar Energy Lighting Up Detroit Homes

Installing solar energy requires a large initial investment.  Helping low-income residents in Detroit access solar energy has long been a dream of Rev Joan Ross with the North End Woodward Community Coalition (NEW CC).  Thanks to the Honnold Foundation, the Renewable Energy Corporation, and the work of many community members, 10 Detroit homes now have solar panels that will provide 50% of the energy for their homes.  Check out this video to learn more about this exciting project.

Students Release Lake Sturgeon Fingerlings to Lake Ontario

Lake Sturgeon are making a comeback throughout the Great Lakes region, thanks to efforts of groups like Save the River in New York.  More than 8,000 fingerlings were raised in two fish hatcheries–one in New York and one in Wisconsin for release to Lake Ontario. Students learned about the ecology of the fish and released one-hundred to Lake Ontario to help this species recover its once former abundance.

No Strategy to Test Animals or Alert the Public Regarding Contaminated Milk

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development acknowledged that some milk produced in the state has been contaminated with PFAS. Yet there are no further plans for testing of notification of the public.  The lack of action and concern is a stark contrast to the approach taken by the States’ Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Health and Human Services that set advisory PFAS limits for venison and fish, as well as warnings and education for the public.

PFAS Test Kits – GIFT a KIT!
Freshwater Future believes everyone has a right to know what is in their drinking water, regardless of what’s in their wallets. We have partnered with the University of Michigan Biological Station and other donors to offer PFAS testing for homes on private wells at reduced rates. You can help make our kits even more accessible by selecting Gift a Kit at check out. We’ll use your donation to send a kit to someone else as part of our “Pay What You Can Program”. Get (or gift) your test kits today!



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