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July 2022: Lakes Appreciation Month

WHEREAS, lakes are among Michigan’s most valuable natural resources; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan’s landscape is home to more than 11,000 inland lakes, and Michigan’s boundaries are shaped by four of the five Great Lakes with over 3,000 miles of shoreline; and,

WHEREAS, these lakes and shorelines are critical resources to Michigan’s environment and quality of life, providing sources of drinking water, irrigation, energy, commerce, recreation, scenic beauty, and habitat for fish and wildlife; and,

WHEREAS, these beneficial uses have been of vital importance to Michigan’s history, growth, and financial health; and,

WHEREAS, these lakes are ranked among the best in the nation -for water quality, biological diversity, and integrity of healthy native plant and animal communities; and,

WHEREAS, invasive species and nutrient stressors continue to threaten the health of our lakes and shorelines, which will intensify as a result of climate change; and,

WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and Michigan Department of Natural Resources administer programs to monitor lakes, manage the fisheries, permit aquatic invasive species control activities, support Michigan’s 13 state-designated underwater preserves and their historic resources, and promote best land management practices at the shorelines and shore lands; and,

WHEREAS, the fresh, cold waters of the Great Lakes preserve more than 1,500 shipwrecks in Michigan waters, providing time capsules of our history; and,

WHEREAS, the Michigan Chapter of the North American Lakes Management Society engages state and local agencies, Native American Tribes, outreach institutions (universities and other educational institutions), nongovernmental organizations, businesses, industries and citizens in a collaborative effort to ensure the quality, sustainability, and ecological diversity of lakes, while considering society’s needs, and,

WHEREAS, maintaining the health or our lakes and shorelines is the responsibility of every resident, and through the Michigan Clean Water Corps, community volunteers have been organized and trained as lake monitors, bringing education, resources, and assistance to lake properties and their owners across the state; and,

WHEREAS, the state of Michigan recognizes the need to protect these lakes and shorelines for future generations;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim July 2022 as Lakes Appreciation Month in Michigan in special recognition of the vital role lakes and shorelines play in Michigan’s environment and the well-being of our state. I encourage all residents and communities to actively participate in the protection and preservation of our lakes and shorelines.