Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week Aug. 8-16 spotlights Michigan's water resources

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 6, 2020
Nick Assendelft, Public Information Officer, AssendelftN@Michigan.gov, 517-388-3135

Michigan is uniquely defined by our Great Lakes and our water plays an important role in our heritage, our communities and the economy, including a robust tourism industry. Michiganders can celebrate everything the state’s water resources have to offer as well as pledge to be faithful stewards of those resources during Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week Aug. 8-16.

A proclamation by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer notes the Great Lakes system is the largest freshwater system in the world and it is the responsibility of all Michiganders to practice stewardship, increase their water literacy and raise awareness of the value of the state’s water resources.

“Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week is an excellent reminder about how vitally important it is to protect our state’s lakes and rivers and even our groundwater,” said Liesl Clark, director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. “Every Michigander benefits in many important ways from this abundant natural resource that we sometimes take for granted. I’m happy to work with partners across the state to highlight the many wonderful efforts to protect, restore and sustain our fresh water for future generations.”

A stroll on the beach. Water skiing on the Great Lakes. Spending the day at your favorite fishing hole. Share your photos and videos on social media of your favorite water recreation or stewardship activities or post your pledge to be a guardian of the state’s water resources using the hashtag #MiGreatLakesWeek.

Join the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) for a webinar from 1-2:15 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10, that will kick off the weeklong water-related celebration. Information on the webinar will help local communities understand the importance of Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week, our connection to water and how the One Water Campaign serves as a tool to get communities involved in protecting water resources.

“We are proud to be part of this statewide celebration of the Great Lakes and all of our freshwater resources,” said Kathleen Lomako, executive director of SEMCOG. “Water is critical to our quality of life, and we all need to do our part to ensure access to high quality water for generations to come.”

SEMCOG also has a list of virtual and in-person water education events in which the public can participate to learn about Michigan’s abundant water resources and help Michiganders take action to become freshwater stewards.

“I look forward to Great Lakes Week every year,” said Michele Arquette-Palermo, head of the Freshwater Forum at Cranbrook Institute of Science and Coordinator of Slow Row LO, a paddling group based in Lake Orion. It is a great time to highlight our local lakes and streams. I enjoy promoting paddling sports by hosting an event every year.”

Michigan has more than 11,000 inland lakes, tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams, approximately 6.5 million acres of wetlands, roughly 3,200 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, an estimated 74,000 acres of coastal dunes, and vast groundwater resources. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy collaborates with community organizations across the state to highlight the successes and seek solutions for the challenges related to water stewardship.

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