(This week, MI Environment is featuring several articles from the State of the Great Lakes report. Today's article was written by Emily Finnell and Christina Pastoria, of EGLE's Office of the Great Lakes (OGL).)
In Michigan, our memories tend to be tinged with blue. In the background of summers with our families, outdoor adventures with friends, and even solitary moments of serenity and meditation, there is always a shimmer of that never-ending blue. Water, from our inland lakes, rivers, and streams to the Great Lakes themselves, is foundational to the people of the state of Michigan. Telling our Great Lakes stories — about lazy days on the lake or fishing with our favorite relatives — is a way for us to connect with each other and with the natural world.
Effective stewardship of the Great Lakes is built on a combination of deep, personal connections to water resources and strong scientific understanding of water, watersheds, and how water resources are directly affected by the actions of people. As people become more disconnected from nature and government decision-making, engaging with communities and educating people of all ages about the Great Lakes and the waters they love is key. The OGL is committed to improving people's knowledge about water and Michigan's water heritage, as a way to help reconnect people with decision-making. This will help ensure that natural resource management decisions reflect how people value water in their daily lives.
The OGL recently launched a number of new initiatives dedicated to fostering stewardship, improving community and individual engagement, and increasing water literacy of residents.
To read about the new initiatives launched by the OGL, read the rest of the article in the State of the Great Lakes report.