Freshwater Weekly: July 1, 2021

Freshwater Weekly: July 1, 2021

THIS WEEK:  Freshwater Future Awards Water Protection Grants + Federal Infrastructure Funds Targeted for Water Systems in Michigan + 750 Homes Losing Water After Water Shutoff Moratorium Expired + Campaign Targets Boaters to Prevent Spread of Invasive Species

Freshwater Future Awards Water Protection Grants

This spring, Freshwater Future has awarded five groups with Project Grants to provide financial assistance for projects that promote water protection. These grants range from $500 to $5,000 and were awarded to community groups working to promote river, lake, shoreline, wetland, groundwater, and drinking water protection within the Great Lakes Basin. Learn more about these important projects.

Federal Infrastructure Funds Targeted for Water Systems in Michigan

Michigan proposed that Federal infrastructure funds will be targeted for the following  improvements to water systems:

  • $700 million to upgrade local drinking water and wastewater facilities
  • $600 million for the replacement of lead pipes across the state through a matching grant program
  • $85 million to install filtered water stations inside schools
  • $100 million in grants to cleanup pollution sites without current owners
  • $290 million in bonds to assist communities with upgrading and replacing water treatment infrastructure
  • $680 million for dam repairs

Contact your Michigan legislators today to ask them to spend more on drinking water to keep Michigan’s residents safe.

In other states, let us know if you hear specifics about water infrastructure spending, and contact your legislators to let them know your priorities.

750 Homes Losing Water After Water Shutoff Moratorium Expired

After the Michigan statewide moratorium on water shutoffs expired June 15th, the City of Saginaw water department underwent mass water shutoffs, cutting off water to as many as 750 homes. These efforts are inexplicable given that funding for water arrearages is coming from the federal government, and COVID has already proven the need to always permit running water in homes. Water affordability programs are the proven way for municipalities to recoup revenue for water service and water shutoffs are proven to be more costly.   

Campaign Targets Boaters to Prevent Spread of Invasive Species

Over 185 aquatic invasive species like the zebra mussel and Eurasian water milfoil have been introduced to the Great Lakes.  Invasive species harm our natural water ecosystems by disrupting the food web, negatively impacting recreation and economy requiring billions on control measures.  Before the summer holiday weekend, Canada and the eight Great Lakes states joined forces on the Landing Blitz campaign that enforces and encourages boaters to clean their boats from any debris that may have tagged along for the ride.

Summer Community Events

Freshwater Future’s Own Jill Ryan Speaks at Bay View

Freshwater Future’s Executive Director, Jill Ryan, will be a special guest speaker for Bay View Association ‘Scarrow Friday Forum’ on July 9th. The discussion will talk about the special qualities of the Great Lakes that make them so important, as well as highlighting issues of concern in the region and the solutions Freshwater Future brings to those concerns. Topics will include: rebuilding trust in water in Flint and beyond; pushing for faster notification of residents when water contamination is found; ensuring protections are enforced to protect our rivers, lakes and wetlands from acid mine drainage; and more.  If you are in northern Michigan, please join us!

Water Celebration – Menominee River

Water Celebration on July 16th, 2021 is a gathering in Stephenson Island, Wisconsin to support protection from mining contamination of the Menominee River. Great speeches and fun activities are featured at this outdoor event. Learn more here.

Water is Life Festival September 4, 2021

The Water is Life Festival is an annual event that celebrates our connection to the water and builds power through community so we can work towards living in a holistic way with water and protect it from those who seek to exploit or endanger it. The festival is held Saturday, September 4th before Labor Day in Mackinaw City, Michigan.