Freshwater Weekly: August 9th, 2019

Posted on August 7, 2019 by
August 9th, 2019

This week: Environmental Injustice Documented in Michigan’s Cities + Scientists Sample 200 Locations to Document Algal Bloom in Lake Erie + Over 400 Military Bases Have Toxic Contamination from Firefighting Foams

Environmental Injustice Documented in Michigan’s Cities

Michigan’s cities are some of the most environmentally unjust in the country according to a recent study published last month by the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability.   The study found that there is lack of consideration of environmental justice in decision making and a need for a screening tool used in other states that identifies potential cumulative impacts of environmental hazards and high risk exposures such as air toxics, lead paint, and wastewater discharges.

The Environmental Justice Work Group submitted a report in 2018 with 33 recommendationsaimed at preventing another Flint water crisis.  One of the recommendations was to integrate and strengthen environmental justice and public health considerations in agency decision making.  With lead contamination, PFAS, and other water threats the State has an opportunity to make progress in this area starting today.

Scientists Sample 200 Locations to Document Algal Bloom in Lake Erie

On August 7, scientists in the U.S. and Canada collected Lake Erie water samples in 200 locations to document the harmful algal bloom.  Five-years ago a harmful algal bloom resulted in half a million Toledo-area residents without safe tap water for three days.  The goal of water testing is to estimate the mass of the harmful toxin present in one day and learn more about the different forms of the toxin.


Over 400 Military Bases Have Toxic Contamination from Firefighting Foams


Firefighting foams were developed to put out jet fuel fires quickly and effectively.  Unfortunately, these foams contain chemicals called PFAS (per and polyfluoroalkyl substances), which are toxic and have been found in water supplies at over 400 Military Bases. A recent video report by CNBC highlights how PFAS contamination in communities with Military Bases has impacted veterans and community members.

Help protect the Great Lakes—20% of the Earth’s surface fresh water:
Donate to Freshwater Future’s Walk, Paddle and Roll fundraiser

Friends of Freshwater Future are walking, paddling, biking, and swimming around the Great Lakes region this summer with a goal to raise $5,000 to support the people working tirelessly to protect and restore our waters from source to tap.


With YOUR support, Freshwater Future is making sure that community groups across the Great Lakes have the tools and resources they need to make sure their water is safe for drinking and recreation. With your gift, we will:

  • Test water in homes and schools for lead contamination
  • Educate and engage youth around clean drinking water, building tomorrow’s leaders for environmental justice
  • Identify waters contaminated with toxic PFAS chemicals and educate people about this dangerous pollutant
  • Push for policy solutions that reduce pollution contributing to harmful algal blooms
  • And much more!

Please support our amazing team of staff, board members, and friends, who are getting outdoors this summer to raise funds to support Freshwater Future’s vital work.  You can choose to donate to the Freshwater Future Board Team or the Freshwater Futre Staff Team .


PFAS Test Kits – Test YOUR Water!

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!


THANK YOU for helping us raise funds for the Flint Community Water Lab. Our goal of $35,000 is achieved–generating an additional $35,000 from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Thanks to all of you who contributed to this important project to build a community water testing lab for the use of all Flint residents.



© 2022 Freshwater Future. All Rights Reserved.

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