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His writing is a unique blend of his year career shaping Great Lakes policy and his passion for inspiring a stewardship ethic for our inland seas. Clair River, south through Lake St. Clair, and ending where the Detroit River empties into Lake Erie. Dave feels strongly that southeast Michigan should redefine itself based on water, and political, business and other leaders of the region need to coalesce around a water identity backed up with energy, persistence, and funding.

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Southeast Michigan has a great opportunity to create jobs and a higher quality of life this way. Two critically important challenges facing the region include: investing in our aging and inadequate sewer and water infrastructure; and educating our citizens so they understand our challenges and opportunities enough to encourage our leaders to act. Many young people in southeast Michigan are still disconnected from the waters in their backyard. Dave feels the most important thing that can be done to reconnect young people to the waters of southeast Michigan and the Great Lakes is to get more of them out on the water, enjoying and learning.

If Dave had his way, every child in southeast Michigan would be ushered to the river to learn an environmental curriculum linked directly to water. While we are fortunate to have an abundance of freshwater in the Great Lakes Basin, we are not exempt from the effects of a warming climate.

This trend has grave implications for our fresh waters, including increased algal blooms, severe weather events, and loss of habitat for aquatic species. However, with more than 35 million people residing in the Great Lakes Basin, small changes in our daily routines can add up to big collective impacts when it comes to offsetting our carbon and freshwater footprint.

Here are just a few ways you can do your part:. Higher temperatures due to climate change are playing their part to exacerbate algal blooms. However, one of the most serious offenders is excessive nutrient inputs from human activities also known as cultural eutrophication. Residents of Lake Erie know these challenges all too well.

If you own shoreline property, you can do your part to prevent algal blooms by limiting application of fertilizers, and maintaining native plants as a shoreline buffer. In fact, the volume of groundwater in the Great Lakes Basin is roughly equivalent to the volume of water in Lake Huron. Because this resource is out of sight and out of mind, it has faced serious degradation in recent history. Geological Survey , analyzing samples from 29 tributary rivers of the Great Lakes, researchers found microplastics in every sample.

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You read that correctly -- all of them. These 29 waterways collectively make up a fifth of the flows entering our Great Lakes. The best way to prevent microplastics is eliminating plastic at the source through regulation and consumer action. Admiring Gov. Dave Dempsey is the author of a biography of former Gov.

He also served as former Gov. William Milliken, who turns 94 on Saturday, forged an affectionate relationship with nature as a young boy. Previous article Next article.

Macfarlane on Riley, 'The Once and Future Great Lakes Country: An Ecological History'

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For the Love of Lakes.m4v

Leave this field blank. Comments Dave thank you. This is a beautiful tribute to somone we all admire! If he were in office today we wouldn't have EM's acting as dictators. We would have real leadership in bring everyone together to solve problems. Not enough praise can be given to a man whose service to the citizens of Michigan included the aforementioned leadership. Those of us who were fortunate enough to have seen his impact while he was in office will always remember his ability to promote, protect and preserve our beautiful state.

It is amazing what a committed public servant can accomplish when done in the best interests of future generations. I count myself very lucky as someone who gained political awareness watching his honest, engaging and inclusive mode of governing and leading. It instilled in me a desire to work toward making the world a better place, which is indeed harder these days amidst all of the rancor and vitriol.

Happy Birthday Governor!! How desperately we need leaders in our politics and government of the caliber of this great man who would conduct themselves with the same grace, dignity, and vision he did and continues to do, without the ideological rancor that so often keeps us from doing the best we could for our state, our nation and its people. Dave: Thank you so much for this wonderful column celebrating the work of Gov. Our state is in need of someone like the Governor right now as we face many tough environmental issues.

The Governor's work and example is something to celebrate every single day. Thanking you for your advocacy and foresight for Michigan. That's where true Pure Michigan began. Hopefully we never forget how fragile our natural gifts are.

Michigan Environmental Council

Wishing you a happy birthday I was one who took shots at Gov. Milliken over the PBB issue. He was in charge and got tarred with the brush better left to underlings. Since that time I've come to appreciate just how much he'd done and how much worse things could become when his successor John Engler tried to dismantle his legacy.


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The latter's prime environmental contribution was the creation of MDEQ which has from the beginning been a tool for injuring the environment under a gloss of "Quality". Governor Milliken truly deserves his high place in Michigan history. Happy Birthday and many happy returns of the day!

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Great Lakes by Dave Dempsey - All Hands On Deck Great Lakes

Governor Milliken has been a great public servant and a great person. But Governor Milliken should apologize for using his good name and reputation to support the reelection of Michigan's worst governor ever who he shares no values withRick Sndyer. Gov Milliken and Gov Snyder are diametrically opposed on EVERY policy issue whether it environmental protection, civil rights, responsible budgeting, public education, etc. Thanks to Bridge and Dave Dempsey for this timely and thoughtful piece. Happy Birthday Governor Milliken!

Dave: Thanks for this terrific article. Governor Milliken is an amazing statesman and a will always be known for protecting the environmental, especially his beloved Great Lakes. Thanks, Dave for your comprehensive article on this good man. Our family has known the Millikens since forever, and the article speaks well of his thoughtful dedication of our natural resources.

He is a WWII veteran, a businessman, and best of all, an honest and fair man to many Thanks, Dave, for this beautiful and timely tribute to Bill and Helen and their environmental impact. He and Helen have been such great stewards and leaders for Michigan. Many happy birthday wishes to Gov.

I came of age under Bill Milliken and have tried to emulate him in expanding environmental awareness. Thank you Governor Bill for you legacy, and Happy birthday. Unfortunately his like has disappeared on the Michigan stage and the latest iteration of Republicans has worked diligently to dismantle everything he accomplished. I was proud to call myself a Milliken Republican. I have not voted for a Republican legislator or governor since John Engler betrayed me in his fist term.

Thank you Dave Dempsey and Bridge for celebrating the great environmental work championed by Gov. Bill Milliken was critical in our fight to protect the Pigeon River Country. I remember taking a hike thru the forest with the Governor and his wife Helen.