Freshwater Weekly: June 15th, 2020

Posted on June 15, 2020 by

June 12, 2020

This week: Speaking Common Threads in Our Communities Through Poetry +No Water Service Restoration Chicago+ Anishinaabe Lead on Adapting to Climate Change + Michigan Senators Introduce a Bill to Protect Waterways and Public Health

Speaking of Common Threads in Our Communities Through Poetry

Freshwater Future staff member Brandon Tyus expressed his reactions to George Floyd’s murder through poetry.  His poem titled Dear White People reflects on the personal belief system that “the game doesn’t change, but the faces do” as there is always a common thread in anything that shares fundamental commonalities such as skin color. The poem’s voice from the viewpoint of black and brown people asks white people to gain perspective, because they cannot understand what life is like with darker skin.

No Water Service Restoration in Chicago During Pandemic

The City of Chicago has yet to restore water service to a single home, leaving an untold number of families without running water during the pandemic. Many cities across the Great Lakes region have been scrambling to reconnect users so they can wash their hands to prevent the spread of Covid-19, at least temporarily.  Rising water costs in many cities in the region have led to disconnections when residents fall behind on water bills.  Even after Freshwater Future negotiated a small pilot to turn on the water for a single home, the City has not been able to find the will for reconnection.

Anishinaabe Tribes Lead on Adapting to Climate Change

Anishinaabe tribes in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan are taking a holistic approach toward dealing with climate change that requires more “listening” to nature than battling it. Tribal adaptation is an approach that notices the changes in climate and experiments with what needs to be adjusted to accommodate the change. Tribes have formed a coalition, putting them in a leadership role for building resilience to climate change impacts.

Michigan Senators Introduce A Bill To Protect Waterways And Public Health

After an industrial property contaminated with uranium and other hazardous chemicals collapsed into the Detroit River as we reported in December 2019. This environmental disaster revealed inadequate enforcement by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). In response to this and similar instances of dangerous pollutants entering waterways, State legislators introduced a bill to protect major waterways and public health. The legislation would require statewide risk assessments and an accessible database for the public to more easily identify contaminated areas throughout the state.


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