Environment and Climate

Environment and Climate

An eastward-looking view of the Great Lakes from SeaWiFS

Welcome to the

Environmental Advocacy Group

LWV of Washtenaw County


The Environmental Advocacy Group focuses on educating the public and advocating for protection of our environment and alleviating environmental injustice. 



We welcome new participants!


Our Environmental Advocacy group also participates in the League's Statewide Environmental Network. All League members are welcome to our monthly presentation and discussion meetings generally held on the third Thursday of each month at 11:00am via Zoom

Information and Advocacy Topics include:

  • Fighting climate change
  • Federal, state and local government regulatory issues
  • Protecting Michigan's natural resources

For more information, contact advocacy [at] lwvwashtenaw.org 

Clean energy, mobility, energy efficiency make progress in Michigan budget

Legislature inks budget that fights pollution, grows clean energy jobs, saves Michiganders money 

LANSING, Mich. – A diverse group of non-profit organizations today highlighted the Michigan Legislature passed a 2023-2024 budget that makes investments in clean energy, transportation and weatherization of homes and small businesses. These investments will help create jobs, save consumers on their energy bills, protect public health, and address climate change. READ MORE


Clean Up of the Fox River ad Green Bay: Lessons for Michigan

Fox Valley Cleanup

Event Date: September 21 2023 - 6:00pm

Event Location: On Zoom




LWVMI Environmental Network educational presentation on Microplastics in the Great Lakes: The Problem and Solutions 

Presentation by Art Hirsch.  Click HERE TO VIEW.

Art Hirsch is an environmental advocate focused on water quality issues affecting the State of Michigan and the Great Lakes Region. He is a former environmental engineering consultant with more than 35 years of water quality and environmental experience, including a strong background in plastics/microplastics, infrastructure sustainability, climate change-risk analysis, and water quality management. He participates as an environmental engineering advocate with several organizations including the Michigan Environmental Council, the Ecology Center, the Sierra Club, the Inland Ocean Coalition, Beyond Plastics and 5 Gyres


On April 26, 2023 Jennifer McKay of Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council gave an informative presentation on the problem and solutions to Michigan’s failing septic systems.

A link to the recording of the presentation is here. State House Bills 4479 and State Senate Bills 299-300 providing for regular inspections of septic systems are supported by LWVMI. 

Climate Change 2023: Challenges and Solutions

The video recording of the January 19, 2023 presentation by Peter Sinclair on CLIMATE CHANGE 2023: CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS is posted to the League of Women Voters Washtenaw YouTube channel here

Peter Sinclair, who is based in Midland, Michigan has been involved with the Yale Climate Project for many years. Peter is a renowned videographer and speaker specializing in environmental and energy issues. He is recognized by the National Center for Science Education as a "Friend of the Planet". 

Resilient Washtenaw

Washtenaw County's Plan to Reach Carbon Neutrality by 2035

Washtenaw County has completed the Resilient Washtenaw Plan with actions for Washtenaw County's Climate Action Plan. The purpose of these actions are to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 for County operations, carbon neutrality by 2035 county-wide, and to prepare the county and its residents for the impacts of climate change through adaptation and resilience. The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners formally approved the Resilient Washtenaw Plan on December 7th. The plan is designed to bring the county to carbon neutrality by 2035 with 45 recommended actions. Read more about the Plan in this article from the Ann Arbor News.

You can sign up to get updates on the Plan here.

Resilient Washtenaw is designed to be a living document that will guide community goals and county operations for years to come. 

GOOD NEWS! Congress Passes Inflation Reduction Act

Click here for the Bipartisan Policy Center's summary of key climate and environmental provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act. These provisions are estimated to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emission by 40% by 2030.

Another key provision of the Act clarifies the EPA's authority to use the Clean Air Act to fight greenhouse gas emissions, and use it's power to push the adoption of wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. 

Join our Statewide Environmental Interest Group to share information, resources and issues affecting all of Michigan, from PFAS to oil spills, to lake erosion, to alternative energy systems. Contact: Advocacy [at] LWVWashtenaw.org.

CLIMATE EMERGENCY RESOLUTION , adopted by the LWV-WC board in March 2022 -   acknowledging that we are facing a code red for humanity. Global warming is happening faster than most of us hoped or expected. Nearly every day we read reports of devastating fires, hurricanes, rainstorms, droughts, toxic algae blooms, extinction of animals and other catastrophes -- all due to climate change.  The United Nations Secretary General called the August 2021 report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change a “code red for humanity.”


We all need to work together NOW to reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- so our world will be a livable place for us, our children and our grandchildren. Details on the Resolution and Action steps below.

Remember, there is no Planet B!


What can WE do about our Climate Emergency?

Action Plan 

To beat climate change, we need engagement at all levels:

We make educational presentations

 As part of our environmental advocacy, we partner with the LWV Programs Committee to present educational programs to our members and the public on climate action and environmental justice topics.  We can present to your organization! Contact us at Advocacy [at] LWVwashtenaw.org.

Resources on Environment Advocacy

 Videos on YouTube from our fall 2021 environmental advocacy programs: 

Carbon Pricing and Alternatives. October 13, 2021.  Views & Brews. Mary Garton of the Ann Arbor Chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby presents on the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. Missy Stutz of A2Zero will join us for a local perspective.  

 Renewable Energy/Wind/Solar and Effects on Farmland. October 22, 2021. Lunch & Learn. M. Charles Gould MSU Extension, Bioenergy Educator discusses the impact of building solar farms on land presently used for agriculture in "Understanding Solar Development on Farmland at a Utility and Residential Scale.

"Environmental Justice Part 1. November 10, 2021. Views and Brews. Dr. Kyle Whyte, Professor of Environment and Sustainability at UM speaking on “Environmental Justice and Federal Policy.” 

Environmental Justice Part II. November 19, 2021. Lunch and Learn. Dr. Gavin Edwards speaking on “Detroit’s Most Polluted Zip Code: History, Science and Environmental Justice.” 

Up-Cycling: the New Recycling:  Waste Management issues. December 8, 2021 Views and Brews 7pm. 

Protecting our Watershed: Keeping our Rivers Clean and Healthy. December 17, 2021.  Lunch and Learn. Speakers Kris Olsson and Janet Kahan of Huron River Watershed Council join a panel along with Diana Kern of Legacy Land Conservancy. They discuss the importance of protecting our watershed and the benefits that conserving land provide to our watersheds. 

Climate Emergency Resolution - LWV-WC

The Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Washtenaw County, following the lead of LWVMI, recognizes the importance of getting climate change under control while we still can. On March 28, 2022, the LWV-WC adopted a Climate Emergency Resolution. 

The Resolution adopts as LWV-WC priorities:

    • Advocating for solutions to climate change that limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2050
    • Working to fix the adverse effects of climate change on disadvantaged communities.

 How Will We Put the Resolution Into Action? We have Climate Tool Kits to:

    • Advocate with local governments to adopt their own Climate Emergency Resolutions 
    • Educate League members and Michigan residents about our climate emergency

 Please join this important effort!


Additional Climate Resources

LWV Lake Michigan Region Climate Change Forum
Developments in Climate Change Science & Policy: 
“Code Red” in the Great Lakes & Beyon
April 16, 2022

Excerpt from presentation by Seth Darling of the Argonne National Laboratory:

We have 3 options for fighting climate change:

  • Mitigation
  • Adaptation, or
  • Suffering

To minimize suffering, we need to do a lot of mitigation and adaptation.  Using more solar energy in place of fossil fuels is one of our best resources for this. 

  • Tom Skilling, WGN Chief Meteorologist 
  • Professor Donald Wuebbles, University of Illinois Climate Scientist & Coordinating Lead Author of 2007 Nobel Prize winning International Climate Assessments
  • Seth Darling, Argonne Laboratory. Interim Chief Science & Technology Officer, Advanced Energy Technologies Directorate & University of Chicago Fellow  


 If you only have a few minutes please watch Seth Darling’s excellent presentation starting at minute 42.00.    

Please contact Sandy Sorini Elser at advocacy [at] lwvwashtenaw.org to learn how YOU CAN make sure our future generations--our children and grandchildren-- will live on an earth that allows healthy and productive lives.

We All Need to Work to Protect our Planet