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Gov. Whitmer dedicates July as Lakes Appreciation Month

By proclamation of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, July is Lakes Appreciation Month, highlighting the rich ecosystems, fresh drinking water, recreational appeal, and economic vitality that Michigan’s 11,000 inland lakes and four bordering Great Lakes provide.

“In Michigan, our lakes – Great and small – define us. Every Michigander is dedicated to protecting our lakes and ensuring that we pass them on to future generations,” said Gov. Whitmer. “This July, when so many of us enjoy our Pure Michigan experiences, we can reflect on how Michigan’s lakes, rivers, wetlands, and groundwater enrich our lives. Protecting them means tackling generational challenges such as aging infrastructure, invasive species, and climate change. Together, I know we will.”

Michigan continues to award infrastructure grants to municipalities through the governor's $500 million bipartisan MI Clean Water Plan, ensuring Michiganders of access to clean and affordable drinking water. The governor’s MI Healthy Climate Plan, meanwhile, creates a roadmap to a prosperous carbon-neutral economy by 2050 that will also protect the state’s natural resources, including lakes. 

Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) leads implementation of both plans. EGLE’s Water Resources Division (WRD) protects and monitors Michigan’s waters by establishing water quality standards, assessing the health of aquatic communities, encouraging natural shoreline practices, regulating wastewater discharges, and overseeing aquatic invasive species concerns and water withdrawals. The Office of the Great Lakes (OGL) oversees Great Lakes water policy and strategy implementation as well as representing the state at national forums. The Office of Climate and Energy (OCE) coordinates implementation of the MI Healthy Climate Plan.

Appreciating Michigan’s lakes means respecting them, too – especially the immense power of the Great Lakes. When making summer plans for time at Great Lakes beaches, always use caution, pay attention to beach flag warnings (where available), and know that the lakes are prone to dangerous rip currents, crashing waves, and quickly changing weather patterns.

Of Michigan’s 100-plus state parks, 42 offer access to Great Lakes shoreline, making them popular destinations for gatherings with family and friends. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offers safety tips and information everyone should know before hitting the water.

The Wisconsin-based nonprofit North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) promotes Lakes Appreciation Month internationally, with at least 25 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces joining this year’s effort. NALMS encourages lakes-related activities including shoreline cleanups, educational tours, boating, swimming, birding, and photography.

Here are resources for learning more about Michigan’s lakes and how to help keep them healthy:

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