Michigan report outlines plan to protect fresh water sources

Michigan officials have just released a long-awaited report that outlines the state's plan to protect and improve the health of fresh water sources in the state.

The 160-page report titled "Sustaining Michigan's Water Heritage" maps out a nine goal initiative from the state to plan out the management of local bodies of water and the facilities around them.

It's part of a 30 year strategy that's been in the works from the Department of Environmental Quality, the Office of the Great Lakes, and Gov. Rick Snyder since 2012.

According to the department, the focus is to protect, manage, and enhance water resources at a state and local level.

Key recommendations in the report include passing new sanitary code and inspection requirements. Another initiative would make it easier for local communities to manager their own water sources through an integrated system.

Ports and harbors that rely on local water sources to thrive would also get a boost from the plan with new funding set aside for infrastructure.
|Along those lines, the initiative also includes plans to enhance water recreation by installing public access points every five miles along the Great Lakes.

Most of these initiatives have a loose deadline of completion by the year 2030. Officials are putting a tighter deadline on a plan to separate the Great Lakes from the Mississippi River in hopes of keeping the invasive Asian Carp species out of Lake Michigan. That plan's deadline is 2020.

The Office of Great Lakes wants your help in all this. They are taking suggestions on how to improve the bodies of water and any comments or concerns you may have. They OGL will also soon announce locations for five town hall forums on the matter. You can add your voice to the discussion here or by email to [email protected].

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