Freshwater Future Weekly: November 12, 2021

Freshwater Future Weekly: November 12, 2021

THIS WEEK: U.S. Passes Over $1 Trillion Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act + Benton Harbor Community Water Council Persistence Results in Actions + Ontario government provides $2.5 million for community-based Great Lakes initiatives + Five Things You Can Do to Protect the Great Lakes + Funding for Fish and Wildlife Restoration Available + Update on Asphalt Plant Near Flint, Michigan

U.S. Passes Over $1 Trillion Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act

Late Friday night, November 5th, the U.S. House passed the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, which awaits President Biden’s signature. The bill provides investments in our nation’s drinking water, wastewater, stormwater infrastructure, and includes grants to environmental justice and disadvantaged communities. Freshwater Future staff have been meeting with Congressional members to stress the importance of fully funding lead service line replacement and water access programs to ensure no parent worries if the water they are providing their children is tainted with lead and everyone has access to clean, safe, and affordable water in their homes. Learn more about what the Bi-partisan Infrastructure Bill and Build Back Better Act mean for water funding.

Benton Harbor Community Water Council: Persistence Results in Actions

For over three years Freshwater Future has worked closely with the Benton Harbor Community Water Council (BHCWC) of Benton Harbor, Michigan to protect its residents from high levels of lead found in the city’s drinking water.  Because no amount of lead is safe, residents have needed alternative water, filters and educational information. 

Recently Governor Whitmer announced an all-hands-on-deck approach directing all of the state’s resources to Benton Harbor’s water crisis. This action comes after years of struggle by Benton Harbor residents to be heard outside of their community in order to secure the resources needed to safeguard public health in the city from lead.  Benton Harbor’s story is another lesson and opportunity for decision makers to listen to residents’ priorities and concerns.  Click here to learn more 

Ontario Government Provides $2.5 Million for Community-Based Great Lakes Initiatives

Ontario approved $2.5 funding for 19 projects to reduce contaminants and nutrients that enter the Great Lakes and lead to issues such as harmful algal blooms (HABs).  A couple of projects funded include the Ausable Bayfield, Conservation Authority to provide soil management and crop production support to farmers and support to the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association to develop a Soil Health Mobile Technology Suite to demonstrate the impacts of soil compaction on soil health. These projects are part of the Canada-Ontario Great Lakes Agreement that Freshwater Future Canada and our partners helped to establish. 

Five Things You Can Do to Protect the Great Lakes

Small actions can make a big difference! At Freshwater Future, we help thousands of communities around the Great Lakes protect their drinking water and local waters. Individual actions are powerful, too! Here are five little things with big impact that you can do to help keep our lakes healthy and clean.

Funding for Fish and Wildlife Restoration Available

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting project proposals to protect, restore and enhance Great Lakes fish and wildlife habitat that fulfill one or more of the six goals of the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act. Click here to learn more.

Update on Asphalt Plant Near Flint, Michigan

A virtual town hall is scheduled for Flint Community residents to discuss Ajax Pavement, environmental justice, and what’s to come with the proposed pavement factory on Monday, November 15 from 11 am – 12 pm.  

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy is expected to announce the permit decision for the facility on the same day. You can register for the town hall here.