Great Lakes

Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project /

According to the Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, drownings in Lake Michigan have increased 80 percent over last year. 

pedro proenza | / Flickr


As freedom rings, the Alliance for the Great Lakes encourages beach-goers that the Great Lakes are not plastic-free.



Michigan’s water has seen some serious challenges, from industry, agriculture, and maybe even your backyard. Experts say private septic systems are a significant source of surface water contamination.

We used a community conversation in Mount Pleasant to explore threats to Michigan’s water and ideas to help it recover,  everything from using science to songs. Below, you can listen to parts of that conversation, as well as hear from people in the community who are on the front lines of efforts to protect Michigan's waters.

A lot of people dream of buying a house on the water, and the Great Lakes state offers more opportunities than most others.  Michigan’s lakes and streams not only created the state, but they also create a strong sense of place for people who visit and live here.

But the peace that the water gives can also be taken away.  Waterside communities often face a serious housing shortages. Second homes and vacation rentals are claiming space, meaning even well paid workers can’t find a place to live.  

Shawn Hoskey

WCMU Public Media conducted this community conversation on the Great Lakes on March 19, 2019, to hear thoughts from residents in northern Michigan  about our waterways. The event was recorded live at the Petoskey District Library, and  served as the basis for a WCMU Public Radio special, which you can listen to here.