The Great Lakes

Michigan is at the heart of our Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes make up the largest body of fresh water on Earth. For many of us, the Great Lakes are central to our quality of life. They are a vital natural resource that has shaped Michigan's history and culture and we continue to rely on them for clean drinking water and a thriving economy. That's why the Sierra Club's Great Lakes Program volunteers and staff are working so hard to restore and protect our precious Great Lakes.

Great Lakes Program

The Great Lakes hold one fifth of the world's fresh surface water supply and 90% of the fresh surface water in the U.S. Currently, they provide drinking water to over 42 million people and also add adventure, serenity and beauty to the our lives. The health of these lakes, which are home to countless unique species, is critical. The goal of the Great Lakes, Great Communities Campaign is to protect our communities from the worst damage caused by climate change while helping to protect, restore, and preserve the water resources of the Great Lakes.

Our campaign has four outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate the effectiveness of green infrastructure solutions.
  2. Increase the awareness and implementation of water conservation techniques in Detroit.
  3. Work with Detroit residents to continue the implementation of green infrastucture.
  4. Increase the City of Detroit's use of green infrastructure.

Do you want to help protect the Great Lakes? Email to get involved.

Rain Gardens to the Rescue

Rain Gardens to the Rescue, generously supported by the Erb Family Foundation, is a collaborative program between the Sierra Club and Friends of the Rouge. Since its inception in 2015, more than 100 Detroit residents have been educated on the value and importance of rain barrels and more than 80 rain gardens have been installed, resulting in the diversion of more than 56,000 gallons of rainwater per rain event. More than 700 people have been educated on rain garden design, installation and maintenance through this program.

Stormwater Specialist Training Program

The Stormwater Specialist Training (SWST) program is a green jobs initiative that prepares individuals to manage and maintain large-scale green stormwater infrastructure installations. Participants attend a six-week course series that aims to introduce and develop a deep understanding of various types of green infrastructure installations and their stormwater management properties. Upon completion, participants will be able to weed native gardens, use plant identification techniques, conduct photo monitoring, complete soil identification, observe and correct erosion and sediment issues, and transplant and thin plants. Additionally, participants can expect to strengthen their work readiness skills to aid in their success in the course. This class will be taught by Friends of the Rouge, Sierra Club Michigan Chapter and Southwest Economic Solutions.

Plastics Pollution

Sierra Club leader and plastics expert, Art Hirsch, presented on Microplastics in the Great Lakes. Watch the webinar below: