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Climate change has affected everything from Michigan’s air quality to the natural habitats of the indigenous animal and plant life—but Michiganders can help stop the destruction.

LANSING, Mich.—Leaders and elected officials continue to lay the groundwork for as smooth a transition as possible for the Biden-Harris administration after the Michigan state board of canvassers certified Michigan’s election results.

One of the president- and vice president-elect’s priorities for the next four years is climate change, but the changes to the planet can be traced back to many causes—most being man-made.

The effects of climate change in Michigan can be seen in increased rainfall and flooding, changes to our forests, and greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels.

“The election is just the beginning,” Detroit resident and environment activist Emma Lockridge told The ‘Gander.

“The real work comes after the election. It’s just the first step.”

Every day, everyday Michiganders like Lockridge are working to fight these factors and reverse the effects of climate change in the Great Lakes State. Whether they are educating their neighbors, creating flyers, or petitioning local government, each person’s work goes to help further state and national goals of 100% clean emissions by 2050.

“The next step is to hold the elected officials accountable,” Lockridge said.

Here are groups advocating for Michigan’s environment and holding elected officials accountable:

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Clean Water Advocacy

The need for clean water in Michigan goes beyond Flint’s infamous water crisis. Because of pollution, Michigan’s freshwater lakes and rivers face contamination. 

These groups are working for purity to return to Michigan’s drinking water and recreational waterways.

Clean Water Action

Clean Water Action advocates for all types of clean energy solutions with a focus on Michigan’s drinking water and waterways. Consider signing one of their petitions for clean water access for all Michiganders.

The Clean Water Campaign for Michigan

The Clean Water Campaign for Michigan is an offshoot of the Michigan advocacy group Title Track. The campaign uses storytelling, music, and social media to spread awareness about water pollution and ways to avoid and reverse it.

The group is always accepting donations.

FLOW (For the Love of Water)

FLOW is an advocacy group with the intention of protecting the Great Lakes. The group lobbies lawmakers, encourages Michiganders to use more recyclable materials, and even monitors fracking movements.

FLOW is always accepting new volunteers.

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Forests & Animals

Though the Great Lakes State is known for its iconic bordering bodies of water and the thousands of inland lakes, its green spaces are critical to cleaning the air and acting as a home to the thousands of species of plants and animals in the state.

These organizations are helping to preserve and protect Michigan land:

Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition

The grassroots organization has been working to “preserve and enhance the unique cultural and natural resources of the Upper Peninsula” for more than 40 years. 

Visit its website to learn more about ways to support.

Michigan Nature Association

Many of the nature sanctuaries throughout the state are courtesy of the Michigan Nature Association. The group raises money and awareness about the natural beauty of Michigan nature. It also advocates to preserve untouched spaces.

Click here for more information on supporting their efforts.

Michigan Wildlife Council

Some state-based initiatives are supported by Michiganders doing the things they love. Money collected from hunting and fishing licenses help to fund the Michigan Wildlife Council, a group dedicated to educating the public about the importance of wildlife conservation.

Click here to get involved.

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Air Pollution

Michigan’s air quality may be most threatened in the 48217 zip code—a section of Detroit dominated by a Marathon oil refinery, but Michiganders of all zip codes can help Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reach her goal of zero emissions by 2050.

Consider joining these groups to help improve Michigan’s air quality:

West Michigan Clean Air Coalition

Western Michiganders have been protected against air pollution since the mid-1990s thanks, in part, to the efforts of the West Michigan Clean Air Coalition.

The Coalition works to educate the public about ozone problems and ways to reduce personal emissions.

Click here to learn more ways to take action.

Moms Clean Air Force

More than a million moms—and dads—strong, Moms Clean Air Force works to protect the planet against climate change on several fronts, including air quality.

The easiest ways to join the group’s initiatives are to sign their petitions and contact your local congressional leaders.

Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is the largest and oldest grassroots organization, lobbying on behalf of the planet for more than a century.

Locally, the group advocates for everything needed to keep Michigan pure; from water to air, with a focus on the latter.

Click here to learn more volunteer opportunities.

If you’re still having trouble finding your place, check out VolunteerMatch.org for more groups in need of help near you.

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