The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Thursday, August 26, 2010

That's BILLION with a 'B'

It's difficult to comprehend why in the age of navigation via triangulation of satellite signals (that's what your car's GPS uses to guide you), wireless internet, and cappuccinos with a flavor shot that we're still dumping BILLIONS of gallons of untreated sewage mixed with storm water into our lakes each year. Sometimes, into Lake Michigan in a month.

In Joel Brammeier's (president and CEO of the Alliance for the Great Lakes) letter to the editor in today's Detroit Free Press, he says:

In late July, torrential rains struck again, and some 8.5 billion gallons of sewage mixed with storm water, and the street litter it ferries was flushed into Lake Michigan -- more than 2 billion gallons from Milwaukee topped by another 6.5 billion gallons from Chicago.

Read the entire letter

These photos were taken this July on a remote stretch of beach near Norwood, Michigan, north of Traverse City. Algae blooms are rampant along the lake this year and I couldn't explain this foam (last photo) along a large stretch of the shoreline.

Investing in sewage treatment facilities so they are able to handle large rainfalls without dumping sewage into our lakes may not be the most popular public works project, but our beaches are suffering and our lake is unhealthy.

We've treated our Great Lakes as vast dumping grounds -- for sewage and industrial waste and run-off from farms -- for far too long.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Excerpt now live at ONTOLOGICA

A short excerpt from A 1,000 MILE WALK ON THE BEACH is in the online journal

Ontologica: Journal of Art and Thought

Click on the cool artwork to download a free PDF of the journal. My piece begins on page 82.

Thanks to the great editors at Ontologica!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Grand Rapids Magazine

The August issue of Grand Rapids Magazine is on the newsstands now. It features an article about my 1,000 mile walk around Lake Michigan.