Freshwater Future Weekly: January 27, 2023

Freshwater Future Weekly: January 27, 2023

This Week: Chautauqua Lake District Abandoned After Public Opposition; REGISTER NOW! – Big House 5k Race in Ann, Arbor, Michigan; Oneida Nation of the Thames Proposes Solution for On-going Water Crises; 20-Year Mining Ban Issued on Land Near Boundary Waters, Minnesota

Chautauqua Lake District Abandoned After Public Opposition

Over 100 people showed up to voice their opinions to the Chautauqua Lake Protection and Rehabilitation Agency about a proposed tax district for lake management and watershed improvements last week in Mayville, New York. After sharing information about the project on social media, Freshwater Future heard directly from hundreds of residents with concerns about the lack of knowledge of the proposed tax and the absence of details on how the tax revenue would be used. Within the first 30 minutes of the meeting, Agency members voted 7-4 to abandon the proposal. 

“Freshwater Future was pleased to see so many interested residents attend the meeting, and to see the elected officials respond to their concerns. Thank you so much to those who attended the meeting, provided comments and spoke about your views of the plan. As always, community voices are the key to healthy, sustainable communities,” Freshwater Future Executive Director Jill Ryan said about the overwhelming support against the tax. 

REGISTER NOW! – Big House 5k Race in Ann, Arbor, Michigan 

Freshwater Future was chosen as one of six beneficiaries of the Michigan Athletics’ 2023 Big House 5k, an exciting run/walk through the University of Michigan campus and finishes on the field of the revered University of Michigan football stadium, the Big House. Join us for the 10th Anniversary of the Big House 5k on April 16th, 2023. Register now to get your ticket before the price increases after January 31st at 11:59 PM EST. Through the registration page, you can also make an additional donation to Freshwater Future. Register at

Oneida Nation of the Thames Proposes Solution for On-going Water Crises

The Oneida Nation of the Thames (a 6,500-member First Nation community, 30 km southeast of London, Ontario) has been under a boil-water advisory since 2019.  In December 2022, a state of emergency was issued due to low water levels and residents were placed under an order to conserve water. The First Nations proposed a long-term solution: an 18 km pipeline connecting the community to the Lake Huron Primary Water System, which already supplies dozens of London-area communities.  Estimated cost for the pipeline is $54-57 million and requires funding from Indigenous Services Canada, the federal department that is responsible for First Nations water quality. The community is cautiously optimistic that the water issues will finally be addressed but remain saddened and frustrated by the inaction regarding their community and other First Nations communities across Canada.  There are currently 24 short and long-term boil water advisories on First Nations communities in Ontario. Freshwater Future believes water is a human right and solutions to drinking water issues should be implemented as quickly as possible.

20-Year Mining Ban Issued on Land Near Boundary Waters, Minnesota

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced a 20-year mining moratorium on 225,000 acres of federal land near the Boundary Waters. The Boundary Waters in Minnesota, a large area of wilderness connected to lakes and rivers, has been the focus of a nearly 6-year battle over mining. This decision presents a win for the Fond du Lac Band, environmental groups, and activists opposed to the extensive risks to water quality from mining. Freshwater Future applauds the decision-makers for their efforts to preserve waters near the Boundary Waters, yet other proposed mines in Minnesota and Michigan remain a threat to drinking water sources. Read more about the ban here.