By proclamation of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, July is Month of the appreciation of the lakesfocusing on the rich ecosystems, fresh drinking water, recreational appeal and economic vitality that Michigan’s 11,000 inland lakes and four adjacent Great Lakes provide.
“In Michigan, our lakes – big and small – define us. Every Michigander is committed to protecting our lakes and ensuring we pass them on to future generations,” said Governor Whitmer. “In July, when so many of us enjoy our Pure Michigan experiences, we can reflect on how the Michigan’s lakes, rivers, wetlands and groundwater enrich our lives. To protect them, we need to address generational challenges such as infrastructure aging, invasive species and climate change. Together, I know we will.”
Michigan continues to award infrastructure grants to municipalities through the governor’s $500 million bipartisan MI Clean Water Plan, giving Michiganders access to clean and affordable drinking water. from the governor MI Healthy climate planmeanwhile, is developing a roadmap to a prosperous carbon-neutral economy by 2050 that will also protect the state’s natural resources, including lakes.
Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) is leading the implementation of both plans. EGLEs Water Resources Division (WRD) protects and monitors Michigan’s waters by setting water quality standards, assessing the health of aquatic communities, encouraging natural shoreline practices, regulating wastewater discharges, and monitoring problems with invasive aquatic species and water abstractions. The Great Lakes Office (OGL) oversees the implementation of Great Lakes water policy and strategy and represents the state in national forums. The Office for Climate and Energy (OCE) coordinates the implementation of the MI Healthy Climate Plan.
If you appreciate Michigan’s lakes, you should also respect them — especially the immense power of the Great Lakes. When making summer plans for time on the Great Lakes beaches, always exercise caution, look out for beach flag warnings (if available), and know that the lakes are prone to dangerous rip currents, crashing waves, and rapidly changing weather patterns.
Of Michigan’s more than 100 state parks, 42 provide access to the Great Lakes shoreline, making them popular destinations for gatherings with family and friends. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offers: safety tips and information everyone should know before getting out on the water.
The Wisconsin-based nonprofit North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) promotes Lakes Appreciation Month internationally, with at least 25 US states and three Canadian provinces this year. NALMS encourages lake-related activities including shoreline clearing, educational tours, boating, swimming, birdwatching, and photography.
Here are resources for more information about Michigan’s lakes and how to keep them healthy: