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The Great Lakes region is blessed with an abundance of water. But water quality, affordability, and aging water infrastructure are vulnerabilities that have been ignored for far too long. In this series, members of the Great Lakes News Collaborative, Michigan Public, Bridge Michigan, Great Lakes Now, The Narwhal, and Circle of Blue, explore what it might take to preserve and protect this precious resource. This independent journalism is supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Great Lakes News Collaborative to receive Sierra Club Award

The Sierra Club Michigan Chapter has announced that the Great Lakes News Collaborative, which includes Michigan Radio, has been selected to receive the organization’s Environmental Journalism award for 2021.

The awards were announced by Anne Woiwode, Sierra Club Michigan Chapter Executive Committee member. “At a time when reporting on the environmental challenges facing us is increasingly important and the capacity for such reporting has been more difficult to sustain, the Sierra Club wants to honor the outstanding work of this unique collaborative effort,” noted Woiwode.

The Great Lakes News Collaborative is made up of four nonprofit newsrooms including Michigan Radio, Circle of Blue, Great Lakes Now at DPTV (Detroit Public TV) and Bridge Michigan. The Collaborative.aims to elevate discussion and amplify the voice of Michigan residents and produce action that protects the region’s waters for future generations. The Great Lakes News Collaborate is funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Coverage produced by Michigan Radio for the Collaborative has included stories like “Should Benton Harbor residents have to pay for water they can’t drink?”, “Reduce flooding from backed up sewers? There’s an app for that”, and an hour long special called “Great Lakes in Peril: Invasives, Pollution & Climate Change.”

Each year, the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter celebrates Michigan's environmental advocates and justice leaders at their annual awards ceremony. Award recipients, including the Great Lakes News Collaborative, will be honored in a special virtual ceremony on Saturday, February 5, 2022.

Suzanne Belanger is a Marketing Associate at Michigan Public, coordinating community and media partnerships, public relations, special events, and more. She started working in radio when she was 14 years old at her hometown station in Delphos, Ohio. Throughout her radio career, she’s worked at a number of stations in Ohio, Florida and Michigan.