Sierra Club Great Lakes Guide Making a Splash
This summer the Sierra Club's Great Lakes Program released a Citizen's Guide to Protecting the Great Lakes, kicking off a series of activities throughout the region highlighting actions needed to protect and restore the Great Lakes, which hold one-fifth of the world's fresh surface water and provide drinking water to 42 million people.
The Guide was inspired by the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy, a comprehensive plan to protect drinking water and the economic future of the region. "The guide outlines steps for governments to take," says Sierra Club organizer Melissa Damaschke, "but it also details ways individuals can help in their own communities, like building a rain garden to collect and filter water."
"We've held trainings in Green Bay and Detroit, and another is coming up in Ohio," says Ashley Brenke of the Great Lakes Program. "People love the Great Lakes, and there are so many ways to help protect this vital ecosystem."
Don Hughes, above left, and Italia Millan use no pesticides on their lawn in Auburn Hills, Michigan, to prevent runoff into the nearby Clinton River and Lake Michigan. Jeff Sytsma, above right, is leading efforts by the Club's Southeast Gateway Group in Wisconsin to install rain barrels in the Racine-Kenosha area. Below left, Peter and Anne Bray of Birmingham, Michigan, have planted native species and created rain gardens on their property. Fellow Michiganders Sue Norman and Craig Ressler of Caledonia, below right, save 7,000 gallons of water annually by using a front-loading washing machine.