The Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is now accepting nominations for our 29th Annual Environmentalist of the Year Awards & Celebration to be held on Friday, April 28 from 6-9 pm at the Dennos Museum Center and Milliken Auditorium.
Aaron Payment, Tribal Chair of the Soo Tribe, will be the guest speaker. Aaron will be speaking about Line 5 and tribal fishing rights in the Straits plus much, much more. Stay tuned for more details in January.
We will be accepting nominations starting in January.
The Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is dedicated to preserving our natural environment through citizen action and education. Founded in 1980 we are the oldest grassroots environmental organization in the Grand Traverse region. This year we celebrated our 36th anniversary. As an all-volunteer organization we are working on a number of issues and wanted to share them with you.
OIL & WATER DON’T MIX CAMPAIGN
NMEAC has joined with over 20 environmental organizations in the state to call for a shut down of the Enbridge Line 5 oil pipelines at the Straits of Mackinac. This year we have participated in numerous rallies, film events, handed out yard signs and stickers and worked to raise public awareness of this issue. The coalition has elevated the risks posed by the 63-year Line 5 pipelines to a top tier statewide issue. Over 67 municipalities have signed resolutions calling for the shut down of Line 5 including the City of Traverse City and Grand Traverse County. Please go to oilandwaterdontmix.org for complete information.
NMEAC SOLAR INITIATIVE and TC100
NMEAC has been promoting the transition to solar energy for over seven years. This year the effort expanded into a new group called TC100. The group includes: Groundwork Center, TC350, Michigan Environmental Council, Citizens Climate Lobby and SEEDS. In October we co- sponsored a presentation on climate change by former Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell. We are also working with the City of Traverse City to set a goal of 100% clean energy in all city-owned buildings and facilities. In addition, NMEAC brought climate change activist Peter Sinclair to Traverse City twice in 2016. Peter’s well recognized “Climate Crock of the Week” and his numerous trips to Greenland have put him at the front of the climate change movement.
SPRAWL MAKES A COMEBACK
NMEAC voiced opposition to the ill-conceived plans for the 81 on East Bay development on the Old Mission Peninsula and helped support a new group called Preserve Old Mission. The development site includes steep ridges along East Bay and a spectacular woods running along the tops of those steep ridges. The developer wants to level the ridges to gain views of the Bay. We have also been involved with The Moorings development along M-72 near Tom’s West Bay. The developers recently received a violation notice from MDEQ concerning large amounts of sediment flowing to both wetlands on the site and into a local creek that empties into West Bay.
PINE STREET/RIVER WEST
NMEAC joined with concerned citizens in downtown Traverse City to file a circuit court appeal of a special land use permit approved by the city commission. We voiced concerns about setbacks from the Boardman River and contaminated soils at the site along with the size and scope of this huge project. Judge Phil Rodgers remanded the permit back to the city commission. We have expressed concerns about the required 10-foot setback along the Boardman and feel a zoning change is needed to a minimum of 25 ft. New developments along the river have stripped all trees, bushes and vegetation and threaten to turn the river into a channel running through town.
HOMESTEAD SEPTAGE ISSUE
Problems with the Homestead Resort’s septage system have been on NMEAC’s agenda since 1991. In recent years the resort has used a spray irrigation system to dispose of its septage on 11 acres of land within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Local residents calling themselves The Drifters have continued to monitor spray drift onto adjacent lands and outside the boundaries of the spray area. Recently, NMEAC called for a public hearing when MDEQ was preparing a new five-year permit for the discharge. This was largely ignored and the permit was granted. We are still hopeful this issue can be resolved.
ENVIRONMENTALIST OF THE YEAR AWARDS & CELEBRATION
This is our biggest event of the year and we are proud to report the 2016 event at the Park Place Dome was among our largest in NMEAC history with over 225 people attending last April 22. We were extremely fortunate to have Liz Kirkwood, executive director of FLOW, as our guest speaker. Liz spoke about the urgency of the Line 5 issue at the Straits. NMEAC handed out 17 awards for environmental excellence in a number of categories. We are already in the planning stages for our April 21, 2017 event and will be accepting nominations for awards on January 1. Go to NMEAC.org to make nominations.
“We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community
to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
George Heartwell will be speaking about clean energy on October 6 at 7 pm at the Central United Methodist Church.
Former Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell is coming to Traverse City to share his experiences at the Paris climate talks and to discuss how cities can take local action in the fight against global climate change.
Early in his tenure as Grand Rapids mayor, Heartwell saw the threat of climate change to his community and began working to mitigate climate impacts and to create a city infrastructure that will be resilient to those impacts. During his 12 years as mayor, Heartwell led the city to set a 100% renewable energy goal—the first in Michigan—and significantly reduce its carbon footprint through a variety of other measures.
The discussion will feature an introduction from Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers, as well as a closing panel discussion with Heartwell and local leaders.
The discussion is co-hosted with the Michigan Climate Action Network, TC350, Michigan Environmental Council, SEEDS, Michigan League of Conservation Voters, LIAA, NMEAC, and Citizens’ Climate Lobby.
Sponsored by Oryana Community Co-op, and Central United Methodist Church’s Creation Stewards Ministry.
NMEAC will also be bringing climate change activist Peter Sinclair to Traverse City on Oct. 26 at 6:30 pm at the Traverse Area LIbrary.
NMEAC has been advocating for solar energy for the last seven years. Our work has now been joined by Groundwork, TC 350, Michigan Environmental Council and others to form the TC100 group. We have made several presentations at Traverse City Light & Power meetings urging them to move to clean energy (wind and solar). We will be continuing this effort into the fall by pressing for Traverse City to move to 100% clean energy for all municipal buildings. In addition, former Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell will be speaking about clean energy on October 6 at 7 pm at the Central United Methodist Church. NMEAC will also be bringing climate change activist Peter Sinclair to Traverse City on Oct. 26 at 6:30 pm at the Traverse Area LIbrary.
NMEAC has joined with over 25 environmental groups on this campaign to Shut Down Line 5 oil pipelines at the Straits. We have made great progress and have been successful in elevating this issue to much greater public awareness. NMEAC will be at the Straits on September 3 and the Annual Bridgewalk on September 5. Please visit the Oil & Water Don’t Mix.org website for all the latest information on this critical issue.
We look forward to you joining us at the 28th Annual Environmentalist of the Year Awards & Celebration to be held on Friday, April 22 from 6-9 pm at the Park Place Dome.
Our guest speaker will be Liz Kirkwood from FLOW. Liz has been one of the outstanding leaders of the Oil & Water Don’t Mix campaign to shut down the Line 5 oil pipeline at the Straits of Mackinac.
Awards will honor businesses, organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the protection of Northern Michigan’s environment.
We will be serving up a sampling of regional cuisine and adult beverages.
TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR | Park Place Dome, 300 E State St, Traverse City
We may be a small, all volunteer group, but NMEAC does have a powerful super hero, the Environmental Legacy Fund! With the revolving Legacy Fund we can help community groups improve their local environmental challenges, and then replenish the Fund for the next challenge.
Join us! Please, help grow the NMEAC Environmental Legacy Fund. Click here to make any donation, no matter how big or small!
And then tell your friends about the challenge so they can go to https://www.crowdrise.com/ChallengeThing
Traverse City–Discover the story of two Michigan adventurers and their 500-mile, fossil-fuel-free journey across the Upper Peninsula along the route of Line 5 – a 63-year-old pipeline – that threatens our inland waters and Great Lakes. Every day nearly 23 million gallons of oil flow through Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline located on the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac just west of the Mackinac Bridge. Join FLOW (For Love of Water) and Oil & Water Don’t Mix Campaign partners Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, Michigan Environmental Council (MEC), Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) and TC 350.org at the State Theatre in Downtown Traverse City for an evening of adventure and activism.
Screening at the State Theater
Address: 233 E Front St, Traverse City, MI 49684
Phone: (231) 947-4800
The screening will be followed by information and Q&A sessions with filmmakers Paul Hendricks & Colin McCarthy, film sponsor Bob Sutherland of Cherry Republic, and experts Jim Lively of Groundwork, Kate Madigan of MEC, and Liz Kirkwood of FLOW. The film tour is sponsored by Patagonia, Founders Brewing Co., Moosejaw, and Cherry Republic.
There will be an afterparty directly following the event at the Workshop Brewing Company with music by Brotha James.
April 18 * Traverse City, MI, 6pm @ State Theatre (after party at The Workshop Brewing Company)
Co-hosted by Oil and Water Don’t Mix
Traverse City and Ann Arbor: Event organizers: FLOW: Claire Wood or Liz Kirkwood, (231) 944-1568