There are many ways to indicate your support for Michigan's vast water resources, the envy of many worldwide.
At the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, three of the water quality efforts that we sponsor are the Shoreline Stewards Program, Michigan Paddle Stewards and the Michigan Clean Water Corps. Each is free and always looking for volunteers.
There are also many opportunities to donate time or money to local environmental groups or regional watershed associations so that the important work they do in cleaning up streams, rivers and lakes can continue.
Another way to show off your passion while helping to fund water-related programs is to buy a water quality specialty license plate the next time you need new tags for your vehicle.
The "Protecting Our Waters" plate features a red sailboat as it cuts through Michigan's deep blue waters under a cheery orange sun. What better way to let everyone know that it's critically important to protect the state's most valuable resource?
The plate, which costs $35 ($25 of which goes toward water quality), is available for use on passenger cars, pickup trucks, vans and motor homes; however, motorcycles and trailers are not eligible for the plate. Money raised from the sale of the specialty plates is used for grants to local units of government to support activities that protect Michigan's lakes, rivers and streams.
So, sail on over to the Secretary of State's Fundraising License Plates website where you'll find information about the plate and how to order one by mail. If you're into the outdoors there are also specialty plates that fund lighthouse preservation, wildlife habitat and Ducks Unlimited.
Photo caption: Sample Protecting Our Waters license plate.