Great Lakes Policy Program

Through collaborative partnerships and participation in Great Lakes initiatives, the Great Lakes Policy Program helps restore and protect the integrity of the Lake Michigan ecosystem. The Great Lakes Policy Specialist serves on the Lake Michigan Lakewide Action and Management Plan (LAMP) committee, participates in LAMP meetings, and provides tribal input on relevant documents and Great Lakes policies. The Great Lakes Policy Specialist also regularly represents LTBB on the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement’s Great Lakes Executive Committee and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) planning efforts.

Lakewide Action and Management Plans (LAMPs) were created in accordance with the 1987 amendments to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (1972), between the United States and Canada. The agreement committed both countries "to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem." To meet this commitment, the two governments agreed to develop and implement LAMPs for each Great Lake and Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) for specific geographic Areas of Concern (AOCs). LAMPs are intended to identify critical pollutants that affect beneficial uses of the lakes and to present strategies, recommendations and policy options to restore those beneficial uses. The Lake Michigan LAMP was developed in 2000 and has been updated every two years through 2008. LAMPs are now on a five year rotation with the Lake Michigan LAMP scheduled to be updated in 2019. The Lake Michigan LAMP uses an adaptive management approach with the goal of making it a more useful resource - to incorporate new data and public input. Because Lake Michigan is completely within the United States, it is the only LAMP implemented without direct Canadian involvement.  The Lake Michigan LaMP vision is “to create a sustainable Lake Michigan ecosystem that ensures environmental integrity and that supports and is supported by economically viable, healthy human communities.”

The Great Lakes Policy Program stays up-to-date on issues such as climate change, aquatic invasive species, pipelines/oil spills, Great Lakes water diversions, and high volume hydraulic fracturing (fracking). The program provides input and comments on local and regional permits and issues. Read on to learn more about a few current topics, and see how you can get involved.

Nestle’s Large Quantity Water Withdrawal

Nestle Waters North America applied for a permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to increase the amount of water they are allowed to pump out of the ground for bottled water. This well is located near Evart, MI which is in 1836 Ceded Territory, so staff are working to see how this large quantity water withdrawal will impact hunting, fishing and gathering treaty rights. For more information and to learn from other organizations also working on this topic, click on the following links:

MDEQ Information on Nestle’s permit application that includes information Nestle has submitted to the DEQ about the project: http://www.michigan.gov/deq/0,4561,7-135-3313-399187--,00.html

Comment Letter opposing the water withdrawal: http://action.storyofstuff.org/letter/Michigan_DEQ-letter_Nestle/

FLOW For Love of Water: http://flowforwater.org/not-fast-nestle/#template

Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation: http://www.savemiwater.org/water-priorities/nestle-now/

Enbridge Line 5

Enbridge, Inc. has an oil and gas pipeline running under ground and  water from Superior, WI to Sarnia, Canada, a large portion of which includes the 1836 Ceded Territory. Because of the risk associated with the transportation of these materials in the Great Lakes, LTBB Tribal Council adopted a resolution for the decommission and safe removal of the section of line 5 running under the Straits of Mackinac. For more information and to learn from other organizations also working on this topic, click on the following links:

LTBB Resolution #030515-01: http://www.ltbbodawa-nsn.gov/OdawaRegister/Legislative/Resolutions/2015/030515-01%20Decommission%20and%20Safe%20Removal%20of%20Pipeline%20Running%20Under%20the%20Straits%20of%20Machinac.pdf

FLOW For Love of Water: http://flowforwater.org/programs/enbridge-line-5-pipelines-in-the-straits-of-mackinac/

Oil and Water Don’t Mix, general information about Line 5: http://www.oilandwaterdontmix.org/problem

Oil and Water Don’t Mix Petition to oppose line 5: http://www.oilandwaterdontmix.org/enforce_the_easement