Air-quality resources and pollution hazard guidance

Air-quality resources and pollution hazard guidance

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June 17, 2024
EGLE Media Office, [email protected], 517-284-9278
Jill Josef Greenberg, EGLE spokesperson, [email protected], 517-897-4965

Air-quality resources and pollution hazard guidance available to the public during high-heat event 

With high temperatures forecast to sweep over Michigan this week, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) offers Michigan residents resources to take to protect themselves from risks related to poor air quality due to excessive heat and ozone creation.

EGLE urges Michiganders to stay informed when air quality advisories or alerts are issued. Resources include the Air Quality Index (AQI), which can be found on the AirNow website, and alerts issued through the EnviroFlash system. EnviroFlash system is a subscriber system that provides advisories and alerts for the area chosen directly through email or text message.

“With high temperatures across Michigan this week, Michiganders must stay vigilant about air quality concerns,” said Phil Roos, EGLE director. “High temperatures are often linked to elevated levels of pollutants, like Ozone. People can protect themselves and reduce pollutants by saying informed of changing air quality conditions. We urge the public to take advantage of notification systems and review alerts to protect themselves and their communities.”

The Air Quality Index is a color-coded way for residents to see what the levels of some types of air pollution are in their area. Higher AQI values indicate there is a higher concentration of pollutants in the air and a need for Michiganders to take steps to protect their health.

Ozone, one of the most widespread pollutants in America, is a dangerous smog caused by emissions from mobile and stationary sources. It’s also most common during warmer temperatures.

This year, EGLE has made changes to its air quality alert system. The new system now includes air quality advisories and alerts. Advisories will be issued when levels of ozone, PM2.5 (or both) of these pollutions falls into the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups range. Alerts will be issued when one or both of these pollutants get into the unhealthy, very unhealthy or hazardous range.

With high ozone days, there are things people can do to help, like not filling their gas tank, not mowing their lawns, driving less or commuting, and not idling their cars.

During a poor air quality day, take action to protect your health based on the AQI Index. Some recommendations may include:

  • Reduce the time you are active outdoors.
  • Consider less intense activities that require less physical exertion.
  • If ozone levels are unhealthy, schedule outdoor activities for the morning or evening when ozone levels are usually lower.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Michigan Public Service Commission, and Michigan State Police also have resources available to help residents to keep themselves safe during forecasted high heat and humidity this week. A joint press release with resources can be found here.

Michigan Energy Efficient Upgrade Savings Calculator

Michigan Energy Efficient Upgrade Savings Calculator

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June 10, 2024
Jeff Johnston, EGLE Public Information Officer, [email protected], 517-231-9304
Alana Murphy, Rewiring America Senior Communications Associate, [email protected]

New online resource will help homeowners and renters calculate energy upgrade savings from the Inflation Reduction Act, state and local programs

Rewiring America launches Michigan Energy Efficient Upgrade Savings Calculator

In Detroit today, Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Rewiring America launched a Michigan-specific calculator to help homeowners and renters estimate how much they can save with clean energy incentives and tax credits created by the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and other state, local, and utility programs. The programs cover heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, induction stoves, electric vehicles (EV), EV chargers, and other zero-emissions technologies.

The Michigan Energy Efficient Upgrade Savings Calculator is hosted on the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s website.

Rewiring America, whose focus is upgrading homes, businesses, and communities from inefficient fossil fuel-powered appliances to high-efficiency/high-performance electric alternatives, estimates that American households can receive $10,600 on average in federal incentives to help convert from fossil fuel-powered appliances and technology to electric-powered replacements that in turn can save households an average of $2,000 a year on energy bills.

By inputting a few details about their households, Michigan residents will get personalized estimates of how much they can save on efficient electric appliances and energy-saving technologies.

“Right now, there are game-changing dollars available for families to make clean energy improvements because of the leadership of the Biden-Harris Administration, our hardworking congressional delegation, Governor Whitmer, and our partners in the Legislature,” said EGLE Director Phil Roos. “Our steps toward a prosperous clean energy future for all Michiganders include both collective and individual actions. This new calculator equips homeowners and renters to make informed decisions about important household upgrades that will save them money on their energy bills, make their homes more comfortable, and engage them in our efforts to address climate change together.”

Michigan is part of the first cohort of states to have its own version of the Rewiring America calculator, with state and local incentives integrated.

“Michigan is ahead of the game in bringing the benefits of the energy transition to families across the state,” said Rewiring America CEO Ari Matusiak. “We look forward to continuing to work in partnership to make these important home upgrades more affordable and accessible to all. With this calculator, households in Michigan are only a few clicks away from the next steps on their electrification journey.”

In other states, the tool already has helped nearly 800,000 Americans understand their eligibility for federal electrification tax credits.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer demonstrated the tool at its official launch today during the Clean Economy and Community Impact Summit, where the Governor; State Chief Climate and Energy Strategist Kara Cook; and other state, federal, business, and community leaders discussed the clean energy economic transformation taking place in the state.

“If we face climate change with climate action, we can lower costs, create jobs, and make more American energy using American workers,” said Governor Whitmer. “The new Rewiring America calculator will show Michigan families how much they can save using incentives from the Biden-Harris administration’s clean energy programs. You can save money on your next home upgrade, whether it’s a furnace, water heater, stove, rooftop solar, or so much more. You can drive down your monthly bill by up to 20%, better protect the air your kids breathe, and support jobs and investment in your local community. I urge every Michigander to take advantage of these cost-saving programs and improve your quality of life.”

The summit focused on the economic transformation underway nationally, in Michigan, and in communities such as Detroit due to the unprecedented public investments from the federal Inflation Reduction ActBipartisan Infrastructure Law, and CHIPS and Science Act. These investments, together with Michigan’s historic Clean Energy and Jobs Act, put Michiganders in the driver’s seat to build a clean energy economy that delivers for communities, workers, and businesses.

To build the calculator, Rewiring America received $5 million in funding and a team of 12 fellows via the philanthropy’s Impact Challenge on Climate Innovation. As part of the pro bono initiative, Google engineers, program managers, user experience designers, and other professionals dedicated six months to assist the nonprofit. The fellows collaborated on technical challenges such as using generative artificial intelligence to speed up public data collection and language translation for RWA’s incentive interface.

The Inflation Reduction Act is the largest investment in climate action in U.S. history. The law is helping American consumers save money while boosting domestic manufacturing and energy independence. In the U.S., 42% of energy-related emissions come from the cars we drive, how we heat and cool our homes, how we heat our water, cook our food, dry our clothes, and how we power it all. Achieving a carbon-neutral economy requires replacing these machines with alternatives powered by clean energy.

Michigan is a national leader in attracting climate- and clean energy-related federal funding. According to Climate Power, Michigan is the No. 1 state in landing clean energy projects from the IRA and in the top five for job creation and overall investment. Tools like the Michigan Energy Efficient Upgrade Savings Calculator will help Michigan families make the most of these federal dollars.

Recently, EGLE received $210.8 million for the state’s Home Energy Rebate Programs, which will be available to families this fall. The Home Energy Rebate Programs will provide funding to lower the up-front cost of whole-home energy efficiency upgrades in single-family and multifamily homes, aiding retrofitting and electrification efforts. The Home and Appliance Electrification Rebates will help finance the up-front cost of efficient electric technologies and appliances in single-family and multifamily homes. People can sign up for program notifications.

For more information on clean energy and climate-related federal funding opportunities, visit EGLE’s climate and energy funding opportunities webpage.

News Release: Early detection of aquatic invasive species

News Release: Early detection of aquatic invasive species

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News Release

June 5, 2024
Contact: Billy Keiper, 517-342-4087 or Joanne Foreman, 517-284-5814

Summer is an important season for early detection of aquatic invasive species

Preventing new invasive species from entering Michigan is the first goal in Michigan’s aquatic invasive species management plan, but prevention efforts are not perfect, and some invaders still make it into the state. Finding new invasions early improves chances of slowing their spread or possibly eradicating the population.

The state’s aquatic invasive species program has resources in place to respond to new detections of high-priority invasive species, but the program staff needs your help spotting and reporting the invasive plants and animals on Michigan’s watch list.

Michigan’s watch list

Invasive species on Michigan’s watch list have been identified as posing an immediate or potential threat to Michigan’s economy, environment or human health. These species either have never been confirmed in the wild in Michigan or have a limited known distribution. There currently are 33 species on the watch list. The 18 aquatic species include:

A graphic shaped like a wheel showing Michigan's watch list aquatic invasive plants.

  • 10 aquatic plants.
  • Five fish.
  • Two crayfish.
  • The New Zealand mudsnail.

Seven of the 10 aquatic plants on the watch list, including yellow floating heart, water lettuce, parrot feather and hydrilla, have been detected in limited areas in Michigan. Some were found by state or cooperative invasive species management area staff, while others were reported by lake management companies or members of the public.

Information on watch list species, including photos and illustrations to help identify their characteristics, can be found on the watch list webpage.

Early detection and response to aquatic plants

The state’s aquatic invasive plant early detection and response team has been active since 2011, with support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The team conducts investigations and responds to confirmed detections of watch list aquatic plants by assessing the risk posed by the invading plant, reviewing response options and, if feasible, planning and implementing a response.

Responses are tailored to the situation. Large infestations or those that occur in multiple waterbodies may require partners like CISMAs, volunteers and contracted pesticide applicators working together over time to manage the situation. Smaller discoveries such as those found in private ponds may provide the opportunity to fully eradicate the plant from the area.

Response actions often take several years to complete, requiring one to two years of treatment plus three years of post-treatment monitoring to ensure regrowth of the target species doesn’t occur. To date, seven populations of watch list plants have been eradicated and several additional locations are nearing the eradication milestone.

Hydrilla in Michigan

A man stands in the water amidst lily pads with a white, square PVC frame on the surface near a shoreline covered in cattails.Michigan’s first detection of hydrilla in 2023 is a prime example of the process in action. Hydrilla, considered the world’s most invasive aquatic plant, was confirmed by EGLE staff in two small, adjacent private ponds on residential properties near Berrien Springs in Berrien County.

Plants were discovered during routine monitoring following treatment for another invasive plant, parrot feather, which was found in the ponds in 2020. EGLE’s immediate actions included surveying connected ponds, a receiving stream and the St. Joseph River to ensure the full extent of the hydrilla population was known. Herbicide was applied shortly after the discovery to prevent the plant’s spread to other bodies of water, with the long-term goal of eradication.

You can help

While you’re enjoying Michigan’s lakes, rivers and streams this summer, keep an eye out for aquatic plants on Michigan’s watch list. If you see one, take photos and note the location, then report it as soon as possible.

Please report any suspicious aquatic plants to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Aquatic Invasive Species Program at [email protected] or through the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network’s website or smartphone app, found at

Also remember to “Clean, Drain and Dry” your watercraft, trailer and recreational gear before heading to a new location. Your help will go a long way toward preventing the spread of harmful aquatic plants.

Michigan’s Invasive Species Program is cooperatively implemented by the Michigan departments of Agriculture and Rural Development; Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; and Natural Resources.

Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Caption information follows.

WL wheel: There are 10 aquatic plants on Michigan’s invasive species watch list.

EFB survey: An EGLE biologist surveys for aquatic invasive plants.

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News Release: Early detection of aquatic invasive species

MISP News Release: PlayCleanGo Awareness Week

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News Release

May 31, 2024
Contact: Joanne Foreman, 517-284-5814

Help prevent the spread of invasive species during PlayCleanGo Awareness Week

Adopt some helpful habits you can use all year

The Michigan Invasive Species Program is joining the North American Invasive Species Management Association to promote PlayCleanGo Awareness Week, taking place this year June 1-8. The annual event aims to educate outdoor enthusiasts on the importance of stopping the spread of invasive species while enjoying the great outdoors.

“Nearly 50% of endangered or threatened fish, wildlife and plants are at risk due to invasive species, which people unintentionally spread with their boots, tires, boats, firewood, pets, horses and more,” said Joanne Foreman, Invasive Species Program communications coordinator with the Department of Natural Resources. “But the good news is, by taking a few easy steps, everyone spending time in nature can be part of the solution.”

Legs and feet of children using a boot brush to remove debris from their tennis shoes and boots.On every outdoor adventure remember to:

  • Clean footwear with a boot brush.
  • Remove invasive plants and dispose properly.
  • Pick seeds and burrs off clothes and gear.
  • Clean mud and seeds from dogs and horses.
  • Hose off bikes or all-terrain vehicles with water or compressed air.
  • Clean, drain and dry boats, and dispose of any invasive plants.
  • Don’t move firewood; buy it where you burn it.

“PlayCleanGo Awareness Week is about more than just spreading awareness – it’s about taking meaningful action to protect our environment,” added Teagan Wilmot, North American Invasive Species Management Association education and prevention manager. “Together, we can make a difference and stop invasive species in their tracks.”

Get involved

Several state parks across Michigan are hosting volunteer stewardship workdays during PlayCleanGo Awareness Week and are looking for help to remove invasive plants and protect important habitat.

June 1

  • Highland Recreation Area (Oakland County) – Help remove garlic mustard that threatens to take over the high-quality forest in Haven Hill Natural Area.
  • Saugatuck Dunes State Park (Allegan County) – Volunteers are needed to help pull garlic mustard from the beautiful dunes.

June 2

  • Ludington State Park (Mason County)– Help protect the park from invasive plants like garlic mustard and spotted knapweed.

June 7

  • Waterloo Recreation Area (Jackson and Washtenaw counties) – Join as we team up with the local Jackson, Lenawee, Washtenaw Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area to control garlic mustard.

June 8

  • Grand Mere State Park (Berrien County) – Volunteer stewards are needed to help protect habitat at this off-the-beaten-path park.
  • Bald Mountain Recreation Area (Oakland County) – Help remove garlic mustard that threatens to take over this valuable woodland.

Visit the DNR’s volunteer stewardship webpage to learn more about workday details and other ways to lend a hand.

National Trails Day

Don’t forget that Saturday, June 1, is National Trails Day – look for service opportunities on local trails and remember to PlayCleanGo to keep them safe from invasive species. Check out some amazing trails at

Post your boast!

If you’re taking part in PlayCleanGo Awareness Week by cleaning your shoes, clothes and recreational gear after you play, or if you’re participating in a volunteer event, be sure to share with friends on social media.

Tag PlayCleanGo in your posts to help NAISMA see who’s joining the movement with @PlayCleanGo (Facebook/Twitter) and @Play.Clean.Go (Instagram).

Share your PlayCleanGo story using NAISMA’s photo upload form.

Michigan’s Invasive Species Program is cooperatively implemented by the Michigan departments of Agriculture and Rural Development; Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; and Natural Resources.

Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Caption information follows.

Maybury: A group of 5th graders clean their shoes on a boot brush after a visit to Maybury State Park.

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School districts to see more clean and electric buses

School districts to see more clean and electric buses

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May 30, 2024
Jeff Johnston, EGLE Public Information Officer, [email protected], 517-231-9304

Michigan school districts to see more clean and electric school buses with $24M investment from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Latest round of EPA’s Clean School Bus Program supports purchases by 27 Michigan public schools and school districts

A cool hundred: That’s how many clean-powered school buses are soon to join Michigan public schools’ fleets with help from newly announced federal investments.

The Biden-Harris Administration has announced the recipients of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2023 Clean School Bus Program (CSBP) rebate competition, funded by President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. Michigan received $23.98 million out of nearly $900 million awarded nationwide.

The rebates will help 27 selected schools and districts in Michigan (listed below) buy 97 buses powered by electricity and three powered by propane.

“Prior to the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Michigan had just 17 electric school buses,” EGLE Director Phil Roos said. “I applaud the Biden Administration and our hardworking congressional delegation for investing in electric school buses, improving air quality, allowing schools to invest in the classroom, and helping us meet the goals of the MI Healthy Climate Plan. The EPA’s Clean School Bus program and investments from Governor Gretchen Whitmer have accelerated Michigan’s transition to a clean energy future. Today, more than 200 clean-powered school buses are on the road or arriving soon in Michigan. Let’s keep working together to protect the state’s most precious resources, our children, from harmful air pollution.”

Michigan has nearly 17,000 buses that transport more than 800,000 students each school year. Investments in clean school buses will improve air quality for students and communities; lower costs for schools, allowing more dollars to flow to the classroom; and accelerate the transition to cleaner mobility solutions and the state’s progress toward the MI Healthy Climate Plan.

“These Bipartisan Infrastructure Law dollars will help 27 school districts purchase new electric and clean school buses, providing a safer and cleaner ride to school for students while reducing costs for schools, allowing them to put dollars back into the classroom,” said Zachary Kolodin, Michigan’s chief infrastructure officer and director of the Michigan Infrastructure Office. “By investing in clean school buses, we’re not only upgrading our transportation systems; we’re improving air quality by reducing diesel fumes, safeguarding the health of students and communities across the state.”

The announcement Wednesday, May 29, continues progress begun in 2019, when the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) awarded a $4.2 million Fuel Transformation Program grant toward the purchase of Michigan’s first 17 electric school buses and charging stations for seven pioneering school districts across the state.

In November 2022, the EPA invested $54 million from the CSBP rebate competition toward 138 new electric school buses and infrastructure for 25 Michigan school districts, from Southeast Michigan to the Upper Peninsula.

In July 2023, Governor Whitmer’s bipartisan fiscal year 2024 state budget also included $125 million to help school systems transition to clean buses, with a focus on the communities that need them most.

In January 2024, another $5.93 million in grants was announced to buy 15 clean-powered school buses apiece for Detroit, Lansing, and Pontiac public school systems. In addition, funding through third-party multistate grantees was expected to purchase 10 buses in Flint; five in Redford Union No. 1 near Detroit; and two each in Mason County, Brimley, and the West Shore Educational Service District in Ludington.

In the current funding round, the EPA selected approximately 530 school districts in 47 states, Washington, D.C., and several tribes and U.S. territories to receive nearly $900 million in funds.

“President Biden believes every child deserves the opportunity to lead a healthy life and breathe clean air, and his Investing in America agenda is designed to deliver just that,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “With today’s latest round of funding, we are transforming the nation’s school bus fleet to better protect our most precious cargo – our kids – saving school districts money, improving air quality, and bolstering American manufacturing all at the same time.”

Clean School Bus Program awardees

The following Michigan public schools and districts received $23.98 million in rebate funding for 100 buses, powered by electricity except as noted:

  • Allen Park: $1.04 million for five buses.
  • Anchor Bay: $600,000 for three buses.
  • Ann Arbor: $800,000 for four buses.
  • Au Gres-Sims: $345,000 for one bus.
  • Brown City: $345,000 for one bus.
  • Cass City: $690,000 for two buses.
  • Chippewa Valley in Clinton Township: $400,000 for two buses.
  • Comstock: $1.04 million for three buses.
  • The Dearborn Academy: $1.04 million for three buses.
  • Grand Rapids: $5.18 million for 15 buses.
  • Gwinn Area: $35,000 for one propane bus.
  • Kent Intermediate: $3.08 million for 15 buses.
  • Kentwood: $800,000 for four buses.
  • Lansing: $1.73 million for five buses.
  • Ludington Area: $1.2 million for six buses.
  • Northville: $200,000 for one bus.
  • Pellston: $200,000 for one bus.
  • Riverview: $50,000 for two propane buses.
  • Saline Area: $600,000 for three buses.
  • Southfield: $220,000 for one bus.
  • Stockbridge: $800,000 for four buses.
  • Three Rivers: $400,000 for two buses.
  • Traverse City Area: $200,000 for one bus.
  • Trenton: $2 million for 10 buses.
  • Troy: $400,000 for two buses.
  • Vanderbilt Area: $200,000 for one bus.
  • Woodhaven-Brownstown: $400,000 for two buses.

About the EPA Clean School Bus Program

President Biden’s 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided an unprecedented $5 billion of funding to transform the nation’s fleet of school buses. The CSBP funds electric buses, which produce zero tailpipe emissions, as well as propane and compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, which produce lower tailpipe emissions compared with diesel predecessors.

Diesel air pollution is linked to asthma and other conditions that harm students’ health and cause them to miss school, particularly in communities of color and tribal communities. Phasing out older diesel engines will ensure cleaner air for students, bus drivers, and school staff working near bus loading areas, as well as in the communities through which the buses drive each day.

The CSBP will save school districts money as they upgrade school bus fleets, replacing existing buses with brand new zero-emission and clean school buses while freeing up needed resources for schools. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from these bus replacements will also help to address the outsized role of the transportation sector in fueling the climate crisis.

The latest funding builds on nearly $2 billion invested through 2022 Rebates and 2023 Grants. The EPA continues to review selected applications and may make additional awards in the current round.

Prioritized school districts in low-income, rural, and tribal communities comprise about 45% of the newest selected projects and will receive approximately 67% of the total funding in line with President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative to deliver at least 40% of overall benefits from certain federal investments to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.

The EPA is also partnering with the federal Joint Office of Energy and Department of Transportation to provide school districts with robust technical assistance to ensure effective implementation.

The EPA’s 2024 Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles Grant Program is accepting applications through July 25, offering up to $932 million in available grant funding and anticipating approximately 70% of the available funding to help pay for new, zero-emissions Class 6 or 7 school buses. School districts are encouraged to apply for current and future funding rounds if they weren’t selected or did not apply for the 2023 program.

Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week, June 1-9

Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week, June 1-9

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May 30, 2024
Jeff Johnston, EGLE Public Information Officer, [email protected], 517-231-9304
Trevor Layton, SEMCOG Communications Manager, [email protected], 313-580-6195

Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week, June 1-9, celebrates water-wellness connection

EGLE and partners focus on how Michiganders engage with the water wonderland around us

Whether we’re drinking from the tap or drinking in a lake view, water and wellness go hand in hand in Michigan.

That’s the message of this year’s Michigan Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week (GLFWW), Saturday, June 1-Sunday, June 9. The annual dedication by Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and partners will focus on events and resources related to physical, mental, and spiritual wellness as a result of connecting with water, as well as continuing to dive into enjoyment, recreation, appreciation, stewardship, and protection of the Great Lakes, their environment, and their communities.

“Michigan is home to 21% of the world’s fresh surface water and defined by the Great Lakes,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “During Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week, let’s recommit ourselves to protecting our waters, which are critical to our state’s economy and the future of our planet and people. Together, we can be good stewards of our extraordinary natural resources and build a brighter future for our kids.”

Governor Whitmer in 2020 commissioned the MI Healthy Climate Plan as a broad road map to a prosperous, clean energy future for Michigan. The plan includes a provision, dubbed “30 by 30,” to protect 30% of state land and water by 2030 to preserve recreational access and biodiversity, as well as to naturally absorb greenhouse gas emissions.

Michigan boasts more than 3,200 miles of coastline along four Great Lakes, 11,000 inland lakes and ponds, 36,000 miles of rivers and streams, and enough groundwater to fill Lake Michigan over again. More than 30 million people in the U.S. and Canada rely on the Great Lakes for their drinking water.

EGLE and its Office of the Great Lakes (OGL) partner with the (DNR) and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) to sponsor GLFWW.

The week will highlight ways everyone can engage with Michigan waters for their well-being: through responsible exploration and enjoyment, learning about freshwater systems and how our actions affect them, and prepping for rewarding careers in Michigan’s water-centered blue economy.

“I know there are so many Michiganders who, like me, find fulfillment in the beauty and bounty of our lakes, rivers, and streams and appreciate a week to reflect on their value in our lives,” EGLE Director Phil Roos said. “When we bike, walk, and canoe on and along Michigan waters, we understand that these great resources bring not only great responsibilities but great rewards.”

“The Great Lakes and fresh water are tremendous and inseparable natural attributes that define Michigan,” DNR Director Scott Bowen said. “There are countless benefits realized every day from these precious resources. The need to care responsibly for them and conserve them cannot be overstated.”

“There is only One Water; there is no substitute for the enrichment, enjoyment, and tranquility that it brings to our lives,” SEMCOG Executive Director Amy O’Leary said. “SEMCOG is proud to partner with the Office of the Great Lakes this Great Lakes and Freshwater Week to celebrate the wellness benefits of access to fresh water in Southeast Michigan and across the whole state. We also celebrate and honor all the water champions, whose stewardship is making a huge difference in the health and wellness of our lakes, rivers, and streams.”

This year’s theme encourages Michiganders to consider what the Great Lakes and fresh waters mean to them personally and for their mental and physical wellness. EGLE invites visitors to use the hashtag #MIGreatLakesWeek to share photos and reflections on social media, or to share them on EGLE’s Facebook page.

Michiganders also may go fishing or take to the trails for free Saturday and Sunday, June 8-9. On these two days, the DNR will waive the need for a fishing license, off-road vehicle license, trail permit, and the Recreation Passport requirement for admission to Michigan state parks and boating access sites.

Reading for pleasure and knowledge is another way to enjoy a water-wellness connection, and local libraries offer plenty of “beach reads” (or anywhere reads) focused on Michigan waters.

The Library of the Great Lakes and partners have selected two books – “The Water Walker” by Joanne Robertson for children and “The Best Part of Us” by Sally Cole-Misch for adults – as choices for this year’s first-ever Great Lakes, Great Read program.

Meanwhile, “Adventure Begins at Your Library!™” where written lake adventures abound for readers of all ages. The Library of Michigan’s searchable Read Michigan BiblioBoard has a list of 113 eBooks related to the Great Lakes – all part of the state library’s Michigan Notable Books selections. The library suggests hashtags #MiLibraries and #MiSummerReading for social posts about your reading lists.

And there’s always EGLE’s inviting and information-packed 2023 Michigan State of the Great Lakes Report to curl up with.

Details about GLFWW are available on the OGL’s Stewarding the Great Lakes webpage, including links to local events, videos, educational resources on topics such as invasive species identification and proper disposal of old medications, and information on how to volunteer with the Michigan Clean Water Corps. Among the many ways to participate:

  • Tap into SEMCOG’s One Water campaign, developed in partnership with the Great Lakes Water Authority to build public awareness and mutual shared responsibility for water resources. The campaign runs June 1-9.
  • Virtually attend a water webinar:
    • Join an EGLE webinar at 1 p.m. Tuesday, June 4, titled “Tribal Wisdom on Nibi and Ecosystems: Manoomin and the Circle of Life,” to learn about the importance of water (Nibi) and wild rice (Manoomin), which hold cultural and ecological significance for the Ojibwe and Anishinaabe tribes.
    • Emily Finnell, Great Lakes senior advisor and strategist with the Office of the Great Lakes, will moderate a webinar from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursday, June 6, titled “Fostering Connections to Michigan’s Water Wonderland for Wellness and Stewardship.” Finnell will be joined by panelists Mike Shoreman, consultant, keynote speaker, author, and filmmaker; psychologist Dr. Michael Comer; Dr. Debra Pinals, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services medical director for behavioral health and forensic programs; and Tim Novak, trails section chief with the Parks and Recreation Division of the DNR. Participants will discuss how time spent on and near water can improve wellness, as well as available resources and efforts to improve mental health and increase access to the Great Lakes and Michigan’s lakes, rivers, and streams for people of all abilities.
    • Watch a recorded SEMCOG webinar titled “Utilizing the One Water Campaign in Your Community,” which was held May 22. The webinar provides valuable insights into how local governments can educate residents about Southeast Michigan’s water resources through the One Water campaign. Find the link on SEMCOG’s One Water page.
    • Check out more water-related webinars – past and future – on EGLE’s Webinar Series and Past Events and Recorded Webinars webpages.
  • Engage with EGLE, DNR, and SEMCOG on social media for news, information, and insights into water-wellness connections (#MIGreatLakesWeek).
  • Join in exploring more about water resources and quality by checking out SEMCOG’s social media pages daily during GLFWW for water-related trivia.
  • Teachers, explore the From Students to Stewards toolkit for place-based educational resources that will instill a desire to learn about water resources and protect our lakes and streams.
  • Public officials, check the Michigan Municipal League Foundation’s MI Water Navigator website as a guide to navigating infrastructure funding opportunities.