Summer is the season when the watershed really shines and there are a few ways to take action to ensure its protection. It’s the time of year when people make plans to go see the rivers, lakes and natural areas of the Huron. Couples take a walk along the Border to Border Trail in Dexter. People ride bikes through Kensington Metropark or along the growing Airline Trail in Milford and Wixom. Families gather on pontoons and travel the chain of lakes, picnicking and swimming, waving to the other boaters. Paddlers drop their canoes and kayaks in the water and paddle through New Boston and South Rockwood. The fly fishing and rod and reel folks head out to their favorite fishing spot—but don’t ask them to tell you where it is.
The river and watershed give us so much—beauty, recreation, wildlife, drinking water and more. A healthy watershed reduces flooding, improves water quality and captures greenhouse gases. We cannot take these things for granted. They are not a given. They can be degraded or destroyed if we are careless or passive. While the HRWC team works hard each day to safeguard a healthy watershed, we cannot do it alone.
The Summer 2023 edition of the Huron River Report highlights a few critical calls to action for our readers:
Leave No Trace
When you are recreating on the river or in natural areas, please leave them as good or better than you found them. We are all stewards of our environment; yet trash, noise and damage to our trails have been increasing. Leave No Trace principals teach people how to recreate in nature without causing harm. Learn the principles. Practice them. Teach others.
Push for Polluter Accountability
PFAS, 1,4-dioxane and hexavalent chromium are all examples of contaminants used today, or in the past, by companies that have intentionally or accidentally released them into the Huron River watershed. These are just a few examples of chemicals that have severe ecosystem and human health implications. They are not the first to impact the Huron, and they won’t be the last. Especially if our laws and regulations do not change. Our PFAS article (page 1 cover) shares the importance of polluter accountability and asks you to reach out to your state elected officials to demand action.
Become a Change Maker
Each year, HRWC holds workshops to teach people like you how to engage at the local level to protect our water resources (page 10). This inspiring article highlights just how much of a difference an engaged citizen can make. I hope you find this as inspiring as I do. Engagement and advocacy are two incredibly powerful tools in our democracy; they are essential to us meeting the mission of HRWC and so many other righteous missions. Next time you see a Change Makers workshop, please sign up and join the growing number of watershed residents working actively to protect our freshwater resources.
Take time this summer to enjoy all the watershed has to offer. Feel appreciation for what we have. And, find ways to take action to ensure we protect what we need to thrive.
This blog post is also published in the Huron River Report, Summer 2023.