Lansing, MI - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has designated July as Lakes Appreciation Month, highlighting a resource that fuels Michigan’s economy, is the source of drinking water for millions, draws tourists from around the world and offers countless opportunities for recreation.
“Michiganders are blessed with an abundance of natural water resources, namely our awesome Great Lakes and over 11,000 inland lakes. We have a duty to protect and preserve these precious resources as well as our wetlands, rivers and groundwater for future generations,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Ending sewer overflows, fixing failing septic systems, cleaning up contaminated sites and planning for the effects of climate change are critical to a clean and healthy future for our lakes. We must work together to protect our treasured water resources and do everything we can to ensure they are here for Michiganders to enjoy centuries from now, just as we enjoy them today.”
While there are many challenges facing Michigan’s lakes and connected waterways, aging infrastructure and the effects of climate change are two highly important issues that require increased awareness during Lakes Appreciation Month and the months to come.
The Governor’s MI Healthy Climate Plan creates a roadmap to a carbon neutral economy by 2050 that will also protect the state’s natural resources, including lakes. The Governor’s MI Clean Water Plan is a $500 million investment in infrastructure from source to tap that will make for cleaner, more affordable water. Nearly $3 million under the plan will help communities develop, update and improve their wastewater and stormwater plans, keeping pollutants out of Michigan’s lakes and rivers.
Protecting water resources is part of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) mission and the department is leading the development and implementation of the MI Healthy Climate Plan and the MI Clean Water Plan.
EGLE’s Water Resources Division 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. EGLE’s Office of the Great Lakes oversees Great Lakes water policy and strategy implementation as well as representing the state at national forums regarding the Great Lakes.
To learn more about Michigan’s lakes or how to help keep them healthy, consult these resources:
- OGL’s State of the Great Lakes 2020 Report.
- Impacts of Great Lakes high water levels.
- Coastal Zone Management Program.
- Council on Climate Solutions.
- Lakes and beach water quality monitoring.
- MiCorps volunteer lakes and rivers monitoring program.
- Michigan Shoreland Stewards program.
- Great Lakes Areas of Concerns legacy contamination restoration.
- Michigan Aquatic Invasive Species cooperative.
- Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
- Nonpoint source pollution grants.
- Shorelands Management Program.
- Great Lakes Coordination Program.
- Shoreline Protection information and resources.
- BeachGuard Monitoring System.