Tag: protect

The Gift of Freshwater

Great Lakes from Space

In a season of gift-giving, it’s timely to remember that the people of the Great Lakes Basin inherited the greatest freshwater gift in the world.

We are slightly more than half a percent of the population of the world, but live among 20% of the surface freshwater of the world. That’s a great asset – and an outsize responsibility.

There is nothing like them, as authors and poets attest:

In The Living Great Lakes:  Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas, author Jerry Dennis wrote, “To appreciate the magnitude of the Great Lakes you must get close to them. Launch a boat on their waters or hike their beaches or climb the dunes, bluffs, and rocky promontories that surround them and you will see, as people have seen since the age of glaciers, that these lakes are pretty damned big. It’s no wonder they’re sometimes upgraded to ‘Inland Seas’ and ‘Sweetwater Seas.’ Calling them lakes is like calling the Rockies hills.”

In Moby Dick, author Herman Melville wrote, “For in their interflowing aggregate, those grand freshwater seas of ours–Erie, and Ontario, and Huron, and Superior, and Michigan–possess an ocean-like expansiveness, with many of the ocean’s noblest traits.”

Poet Alison Swan said, “To know Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, one must visit them in all kinds of weather, at all times of year, and at all times of day, and even then they turn up surprises.”

Writing about what it means to be a Middle Westerner, author Kurt Vonnegut observed, “But the more I pondered the people of Chicago, the more aware I became of an enormous presence there. It was almost like music, music unheard in New York or Boston or San Francisco or New Orleans. It was Lake Michigan, an ocean of pure water, the most precious substance in all this world…Get this: When we were born, there had to have been incredible quantities of fresh water all around us, in lakes and streams and rivers and raindrops and snowdrift, and no undrinkable salt water anywhere!”

Dave Dempsey, Senior Advisor

But the Great Lakes are not limitless. Frank Ettawageshik, Executive Director of the United Tribes of Michigan, once said, “One hundred and fifty years ago we had a resource in the Great Lakes region that was considered inexhaustible. It lasted barely two generations. This was the White Pine forest. The White Pine of this century is Water.”

In a time of runaway population growth, accelerating climate change and growing global demand for fresh water, we cannot take our endowment for granted. We have indeed received a precious gift. It is our job to care for it.

Media Release: 1% for the Great Lakes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                October 26, 2017

Contact: Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director                                     Contact: Timothy Young, Founder
FLOW (For Love of Water)                                                                Esch Road Foods
liz@flowforwater.org                                                                         timothy@foodforthought.net

FLOW (For Love of Water) and Esch Road Foods Join Forces to Encourage Great Lakes Stewardship and Expand “1% for the Great Lakes”

It’s called 1% for the Great Lakes, but it grows out of 100% enthusiasm for these majestic waters on the part of Timothy and Kathy Young, Founders of Esch Road Foods.

When Food For Thought launched Esch Road Foods, it was named after the founders’ favorite beach in the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Known as “Esch Beach” to locals, the beach held a special meaning for their family, and from the beginning, they committed to using Esch Road Foods to making a difference for the Great Lakes. One piece of that includes their commitment to donate 1% of sales to non-profit organizations that seek to protect and educate on the Great Lakes.

Taking inspiration from Patagonia’s 1% for the Planet campaign, the company launched “1% for the Great Lakes,” created a logo and displayed it proudly in hopes of inspiring both individuals and businesses to do the same. This year, Esch Road Foods devoted all of its 1% to FLOW (For Love of Water) for their inspiring legal and educational work around threats to the Great Lakes. FLOW and Esch Road Foods are partnering to expand the concept of “1% for the Great Lakes” and encourage other business owners and individuals to pledge to join the movement. “Business leaders like Timothy and Kathy Young are models of business environmental stewardship,” said Liz Kirkwood, the Executive Director of FLOW. “Their Great Lakes commitment runs deep.”

In the coming months, FLOW and Esch Road Foods plan to connect with additional Great Lakes Basin business owners to expand the dialogue about Great Lakes stewardship and encourage more people to commit to contributing “1% for the Great Lakes.” Timothy Young, founder of Esch Road Foods, said, “Ultimately, our vision is for ‘1% for the Great Lakes’ to become a movement open to businesses, individuals and other groups, pledging in a variety of ways. Our hope is that folks will use their imaginations and give what they can. Is it 1% of your tax return? 1% of your income? Or if you are a business owner, is it 1% of your sales? That’s up to you. It only matters that we make a commitment. No one can do that except you.”

To learn more, or to join the “1% for the Great Lakes” movement, email FLOW at info@flowforwater.org.

About FLOW (For Love of Water):

Everything is reflected in the name: For Love of Water. FLOW’s mission is to empower people with public trust strategies that will protect the Great Lakes forever. Learn more at flowforwater.org.

About Esch Road Foods:

While founded in 2012, Esch Road Foods comes with a long history of award-winning specialty foods. In 1995, Timothy and Kathy Young founded Food For Thought on their organic farm adjacent to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northwest Michigan. Esch Road Foods is their newest line that represents what is great about the Great Lakes. This line is nothing but premium products that are all natural and made in small batches on the farm. 1% of all sales is donated to Great Lakes conservation. Learn more at eschroad.com.