As I’ve mentioned before, when I first started to think through the core business of Lake Effect Co., I knew that I wanted to have a component of giving back to the lakes. Nothing is a guaranty, but without even an attempt to support them, we’re just simply asking for trouble. When I selected the Alliance for the Great Lakes as a beneficiary of 5% of sales, this opened the door to a number of partners and conversations that opened my eyes to a community of people who are working tirelessly to save our lakes. So, while I can’t pretend I know much about what is happening or what needs to be done, I DO KNOW that there is work to be done and we need to empower/enable ourselves and those who are able to impact the situation to help, not hinder our water resources.
After their feature in the Journal Sentinel a few months ago, multiple people pointed me to Alyssa & Julia of Walk to Sustain Our Great Lakes. These two are hiking a 300+ mile journey from Milwaukee to Lake Superior to raise funds and awareness for the Great Lakes. Benefits from their walk will go to the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Urban Ecology Center and Discovery World. When I approached the two about working together, considering we have a common goal of supporting the A4GL, they were open to the conversation, and we’re hoping to use our various platforms to share each other’s missions and empower people to support in a way that makes the most sense to them.
It’s our shared goal to start a conversation. Whether you’re a lake lover or just someone who likes drinking fresh water, knowing ecosystems are healthy, taking in stunning lake views, etc. we need to be good stewards of the earth. What we do in our normal day to day ends up in the lake.
The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater system on the planet. They provide a vital resource to more than 35 million people who depend on them everyday for drinking water. They provide an economy that generates $4.6 trillion per year, provide over 2 million jobs, as well as habitat for a variety of fish and wildlife species. With 20% of the world’s freshwater supply, the Great Lakes can seem infinite, but in reality, water is a finite resource. In spite of their majesty, the Great Lakes are a fragile ecosystem and face serious threats from pollution, invasive species, climate change, and degradation and loss of wetlands. The need for regulation, research, restoration and education on local, statewide and national levels is imperative now more than ever. We all have a stake in what happens to our natural resources; a stake in the future of these streams, rivers, lakes and Great Lakes.
Alyssa & Julia are collaborating with Rayni Day Productions to produce a documentary about the restoration of the Great Lakes and how far they have come since the 1970’s when the Clean Water Act was first established. The documentary will feature their 300+ mile journey as well as interviews and footage showcasing the multitude of projects being implemented throughout the basin to improve and protect the Great Lakes.
Over the coming months, expect to hear from the pair on our blog as they provide updates, everyday tips for lessening our negative impact on the watershed, and more. We’re thrilled to be part of their journey and looking forward to seeing what the coming months will mean for the Great Lakes!