Last week I was lucky to escape to the eastern shore of Door County, Wisconsin for some true rest. The locals mentioned that Tuesday and Wednesday were basically the first warm days they’ve had all year, and it was scorching. I have a self-imposed “rule” that when I’m near water and am overheated, (as long as it’s safe/legal) I’m going in. So as the weather demanded, I overheated and waded out.
This took a really long time. I quickly realized this gradual slope was going on foreverbecause this was actually supposed to be the BEACH, not the lake’s bottom. When we tried to walk the beach, we were either in mid-calf water or on someone’s property. Water levels are high. And while this is potentially a cyclical situation, after a phone call with my friends of FLOW the week before, I realized regardless of the why, there’s so much here that we need to be talking about - and water levels are a perfect place to start.
Do you know about the Public Trust Doctrine? Do you know about Enbridge/Line 5? Do you know about the safety and health of the water you play in or consume? Do you know your rights about where you can tread along a lake’s edge - if at all? Are corporate entities violating our rights to enjoy the water? There are a lot of questions and if you’re like most people, the answers to these are really pretty complicated. But we ought to know those answers and we ought to know how to act in order to preserve the waters that bring us so much enjoyment, healing, and really, sustain life.
Enter FLOW - For Love of Water. This organization, based out of Traverse City, Michigan was brought to my attention through friend of LEco and Blue Heron Mercantile owner Mae Stier when we collaborated on this HOME poem shirt. Following FLOW for the last half-year has greatly increased my knowledge, empowering my decisions, and simply increasing the feelings of urgency around spreading awareness of these topics. As of July 1, 2019, we’re giving our 5% of site sales to the organization. While we know money is crucial for the work they do and the legal battles they’re hoping to fight on behalf of the Great Lakes and all of us, there is also so much space for collaboration by putting our heads and hearts together.
Images via @MaeStier
I’m so thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from, make change with, and give to FLOW. Everytime you purchase our gear, you are supporting so much good - real people, including your children and your children’s children, will benefit from the actions you take to protect this resource as both a basic human need and source of pure enjoyment and happiness.
With this collaboration, we’re excited to host single-use reduction challenges, empower you to be a “leave no trace” adventurer, and simply educate you to take the action that feels right for you. If you’ve not yet hopped on our newsletter, please do so as you’ll be the first to learn about such information there.
Looking for more ways to take action? Go, you! Visit these posts for some ideas: How to be a Great Lakes Guardian by FLOW's Program Manager and 5 Ways You Can Help the Great Lakes by me, Lake Effect Co Founder Katherine Gramann!
Thank you, FLOW!
*Featured Image via @bethpricephotography