FLOW in the News

A sampling of recent news coverage involving FLOW

Bottled Water is Sucking Florida Dry

September 15, 2019

New York Times

Nestlé has incensed other communities in the United States. In Michigan, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and the grass-roots nonprofit organization Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation filed an appeal of a decision to allow Nestlé to increase water pumping from 250 gallons per minute to to 400 gallons per minute from a spring aquifer in Osceola County.

Trump admin decision to drop Obama-era wetlands rule draws mixed reactions in Michigan

September 12, 2019

Michigan Radio

“Honestly it’s quite astonishing that the federal government is considering dialing us back to the standards of 1986,” says Liz Kirkwood, the executive director of For Love of Water (FLOW), a group that works to protect Michigan’s fragile wetlands.

Love Letters to the Lakes: Public Comments from the Heart

September 10, 2019

International Joint Commission

Poetry and public comments don’t usually go together, especially when it comes to consultations under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The IJC has been holding public meetings this summer to gather input in places like Traverse City, Michigan.

That’s where writer Anne-Marie Oomen of nearby Empire, Michigan, mixed art with sound to deliver a short program on “Love Letters to the Lakes,” enlisting the help of area musicians to deliver a message to Commissioners and others.

Opinion: Michigan Should Become Global Freshwater Capital

September 9, 2019

Detroit News

For a state whose destiny is so intertwined with clean freshwater, it's surprising how Michigan has lagged in treasuring and protecting this resource in the past. Thankfully this has changed, especially in southeast Michigan.

Today, we have an opportunity to put water at the center of our civic life and personal lives. We are the freshwater capital of the world — if we choose to be.

Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director of FLOW, is our Great Lakes Guardian

August 22, 2019

MyNorth.com / Traverse Magazine

This is this story of Liz Kirkwood, executive director of the nonprofit FLOW and a protector of the Great Lakes.

First told at the October 2018 Fulfillament Storytelling event in Traverse City and featured in the August 2019 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.

Get Off the Bottle with FLOW in Traverse City

August 20, 2019

9 & 10 News

With August being National Water Quality month, the staff at For Love Of Water or FLOW in Traverse City is talking about their campaign to keep plastic out of northern Michigan waters.

In fact, according to FLOW, bottled water costs up to 2,000 times more per volume than tap water and 70% of plastic water bottles are not recycled and yet still people drink from them.

National Water Quality Month with FLOW

August 13, 2019

9 & 10 News

It’s always a good time to talk about water quality, especially having the Great Lakes providing 20-percent of the world’s fresh water.  August is National Water Quality Month, so we stopped by to chat with the staff of For Love of Water or FLOW in Traverse City to see how they’re working to create an awareness of protecting Michigan’s waterways. The organization works to inform governments and citizens about how we all play a role in keeping our water clean.

Gov. Whitmer: Research tunnel legality

January 2, 2019

Record Eagle

"It was almost mandatory on her part as governor to take this action," said Jim Olson, founder and president of Traverse City-based nonprofit For Love of Water.

Nestle Wins Permit to Pump More Michigan Groundwater

April 5, 2018

The Takeaway

Liz Kirkwood, executive director of For Love of Water (FLOW), discusses the implications of Nestle's involvement with a local water supply.

Amid transition to clean energy, utilities tackle water conservation

March 4, 2018


In February, Consumers Energy pledged to save one billion gallons of water in the next five years. Water usage is a huge, often underlooked, part of the energy sector.

Nestlé-style water withdrawals would be easier in Michigan under new bill, critics say

February 27, 2018

Detroit Free Press

Michigan state house representative, Aaron Miller's bill would let businesses and farms use their own experts' analyses to gain approval for large-scale water withdrawals. It would be more difficult for the public to learn the farmers' and businesses' analyses, as they would be exempt from disclosure under the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.

Michiganders fight back against against water privatization as Nestlé tries to increase water intake

February 17, 2018

Nation of Change

Residents of Michigan are writing letters, holding meetings, and going door-to-door to demand clean, public water for Michigan.

President's proposed budget cuts Great Lakes Restoration Funding

February 13, 2018


President Trump proposes a 90% cut in the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative for the 2018-19 budget. The initiative has bipartisan support in many Great Lakes states.

Campaign releases Line 5 removal plan

January 17, 2018

Record Eagle

The Oil & Water Don't Mix campaign released a plan Tuesday to decommission Enbridge's Line 5 while finding alternatives to supply the Upper Peninsula with propane and transport crude oil pumped in the northern Lower Peninsula. For Love Of Water Executive Director Liz Kirkwood said she and others with the Traverse City-based nonprofit helped with the five-step plan that implores Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette to take action.

Advocacy group: 'State must stop the delays,' shut down Line 5

January 16, 2018


"Simply put, the state must stop the delays and stop kicking the can," said Liz Kirkwood, executive director of For Love of Water (FLOW). "The 65-year-old Line 5 pipelines pose too great a threat to the Great Lakes."

Michigan leaders have tunnel vision on Line 5

December 19, 2017

Bridge Magazine

Jim Olson speaks to the "tunnel vision" of our state leaders when it comes to the alternatives for Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac. 

Washington waffles; Should states take lead on Great Lakes?

October 31, 2017

Great Lakes Now

While federal funding is important to help fund Great Lakes protection, the states should be prioritizing the Great Lakes and funding them, says FLOW advisor Dave Dempsey.

Op-Ed: Enbridge losing credibility across region

October 22, 2017

Traverse City Record Eagle

FLOW's Liz Kirkwood authored this piece in the Record Eagle illustrating how Michigan should follow Minnesota's lead pertaining to Enbridge. The state has the authority to shut down the Line 5 pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac - and they should do so immediately. 

The ‘long game’: How Michigan could be building a case to close Line 5

October 10, 2017

Midwest Energy News

The lengthy state review of safety issues associated with the Enbridge Line 5 pipelines at the Straits of Mackinac continues -- but the case for a shutdown is building.  In Midwest Energy News, FLOW's Liz Kirkwood comments on the delay in a risk assessment of the line.  There is more than enough evidence for the state to act.

Nestlé Makes Billions Bottling Water It Pays Nearly Nothing For

September 21, 2017

Bloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg takes a look at Nestle's profit of bottled water, paying nearly nothing for the water it sells and seeking out areas with lax laws to conduct business. Jim Olson points out how Nestle's data does not reflect real world conditions in Michigan and the importance of water as a public right. 

Inspections show Line 5 coating gaps larger than disclosed

September 14, 2017


"Patches of bare metal larger than dinner plates" are found on Line 5. FLOW and officials express their concern about the state of the line and the need for action. 


Officials call for Line 5 repairs

September 3, 2017

Record Eagle

Gaps are found in the coating of the Line 5 pipeline. FLOW's Dave Dempsey and others stress that the Great Lakes cannot be entrusted to Enbridge, and that it is time for the state to decommission the pipeline.

Reporter's Notebook: How much Detroit water do Coke and Pepsi use?

August 3, 2017

Michigan Radio

Kaye LaFond takes a look at Coke, Pepsi, and other bottlers of Michigan's water in this story. Concerns are expressed about diversions of water outside of the Great Lakes Basin and the privatization and commodification of water. 

Joint Fundraising Event with Groundwork Center at Betsie Bay Furniture

August 3, 2017

On Thursday, a group of area residents and visitors gathered at Betsie Bay Furniture in Frankfort, Michigan, to learn about the status of Line 5 and the 64-year-old pipelines pushing nearly 23 million gallons of oil through the heart of the Great Lakes. In this short audio clip (produced by Leslie Hamp, Frankfort), many shared their thoughts, concerns and why they are imploring Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney Bill Schuette to Shut Down Line 5. Take a listen to the Voice of the People.