Freshwater Weekly: March 6, 2020

Posted on March 6, 2020 by

March 6, 2020

This week:  Worried about what’s in your drinking water? + Chicago River’s History–It’s Complicated + Flint Community Lab Grand Opening March 25  + Freshwater Future Grants Available + Federal Court Knocks Down Lake Erie Bill of Rights

Worried about what’s in your drinking water?

Doubt is filling millions of homes as toxic chemicals contaminate our drinking water sources. Freshwater Future’s executive director, Jill Ryan sheds light on this issue of concern and shares tips on actions you can take.

Chicago River’s  History–It’s Complicated

The Chicago River was once a small stream that drained to Lake Michigan. Today its appearance is more like an industrial canal.  It even flows in the opposite direction to the Mississippi River, after dams and canals were installed in 1892 to send waste from the stockyard and sewage away from Lake Michigan, the City’s drinking water source.  This interesting article in Belt Magazine highlights the complicated history of the Chicago River and reimagines its future.

Flint Community Water Lab Opening in March

The Flint Water Crisis started nearly six years ago, and Flint residents still don’t trust their water, continuing to rely on bottled water.  A water lab built and run by Flint residents will have its grand opening March 25 at 1 pm and will provide free water tests to Flint residents.  A project of the Flint Development Center and Freshwater Future, the purpose of the lab is to provide a trusted source for testing that will help residents access information about lead in their water.  Please consider joining us to celebrate the opening of this first of a kind community lab! RSVP here.

Apply for a Freshwater Future Grant Today

For over 24 years, Freshwater Future has provided grants to community and grassroots groups supporting advocacy efforts to protect or improve drinking water, rivers, lakes, wetlands, shorelines, and groundwater in the Great Lakes region.  Check-out Freshwater Future’s 2020 grant opportunities guidelines to see if your organization is eligible.  The deadline for project grant applications is March 31, 2020.  Visit our website to learn more.

Federal Court  Knocks Down Lake Erie Bill of Rights

A federal judge ruled the Lake Erie Bill of Rights null and void last week noting that the law was overreaching and vague.  The Lake Erie Bill of Rights, a law based on the Rights of Nature movement gives water bodies or lands the same rights as people do.  Last February, Toledoans voted on the law and passed it with 61% voting in favor of it.

Toledo may be known for harmful algal blooms, scales and being a Rust Belt City, but the Toledoans for Safe Water rolled up their sleeves and worked relentlessly for two years to get the Bill of Rights on the ballot, showing a forward-thinking side of this Great Lakes city.  The group shared in the media that they will consider the options and keep the conversation going around Lake Erie’s rights.

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!


© 2022 Freshwater Future. All Rights Reserved.

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