Clean Water Campaign

The Clean Water Campaign for Michigan

Protecting the future of our water

Using storytelling and music events across the state to amplify the groundswell of public support for clean water issues, the Clean Water Campaign represents an opportunity to help place clean water issues front and center in the year building up to the 2018 elections by urging every candidate running for public office to make a strong stand on the following key issues affecting Michigan’s waters:

Ensuring that the Flint Water Crisis is properly addressed and all Michiganders have access to clean and safe drinking water by fixing or replacing water pipes leaching lead in communities across Michigan;

Prioritization of public water rights over private corporations;

Protection of our Great Lakes from a disastrous oil spill by encouraging our leaders to shut down Line 5 immediately.

The main goal of the Clean Water campaign is to build an informed constituency across Michigan that will go out to the polls to elect clean water candidates for 2018! The Clean Water Campaign seeks to be a social movement that uses the arts to motivate groups and individuals to step into advocacy and stewardship that will create lasting and meaningful change.  We welcome you to join our statewide movement of highly regarded creative professionals, nonprofit organizations, business leaders and foundations!



What is at stake here?

The Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world; this region is home to 30 million people and over 3,500 species. Michiganders stand united in cherishing and protecting our Great Lakes, yet we have seen recent failures in leadership from our state officials that have put our lakes at risk and endangered citizens who rely on clean drinking water for survival.  

From the failure to shut down Line 5 at the Mackinac Straits to the catastrophic damage inflicted by the water crisis in Flint, the Great Lakes Basin is facing a pivotal moment in its history. It’s time for Michiganders to partake in their democracy and come together in the 2018 elections to elect leaders who will hear our call to protect our waters.


What do we need?


We need clean water candidates who will prioritize clean drinking water for everyone, protect our economy and respect our way of life within the Great Lakes state. Specifically, for the 2018 election we are focusing on these issues:

Flint Water Crisis

We need candidates who will responsibly address one of the worst human-rights failures in modern history: the poisoning of Flint, a problem that still isn’t fixed.  

Keep Michigan’s Drinking Water Public

We need clean water candidates who will end the legal sanctuary and government subsidies to multinational corporations who privatize our water for profit in violation of public trust laws; and speak up for the residents of Detroit.

Shut Down Line 5 Pipeline at the Straits of Mackinac

We need clean water candidates who will protect our Great Lakes from a disastrous oil spill by shutting down Line 5: two pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac, through which nearly 23 million gallons of oil and petroleum products flow every day. Owned by the Canadian oil company Enbridge, these pipelines were built in 1953 and are now extremely eroded. Our Great Lakes remain under threat on a daily basis so long as these pipelines remain in use.

It’s our time to come together to elect candidates who will prioritize our access to clean drinking water, protect our economy and respect our way of life within the Great Lakes state!



Our objective is as clear as Lake Michigan on a bright summer day: We want to protect the future of our water by spreading awareness for clean water issues in the 2018 elections and empower the public to elect candidates who will ensure clean, safe drinking water for all people, end the Nestle bottling loophole, and shut down Line 5! We aim to achieve these objectives through two phases in the upcoming year:



The first six months of the Clean Water Campaign will focus on storytelling and the development of a documentary series to be released online. A team of documentarians will speak with citizens across Michigan who will share their experiences and interactions with water, with the intent to bring personal stories about the Great Lakes to the forefront. The goal of these videos is to spread awareness for clean water issues across the state by making a strong, strategic and heartfelt case for water in the year building up to the 2018 elections.



During the summer of 2018, we will produce music events across the state. After the primaries are over in early August, we will ramp up for a big tour that will feature regionally and nationally renowned musical talents. These shows will be produced across the state; each show will include insightful conversations with guest speakers about Michigan’s freshwater lakes, plus great music, fresh foods, tasty beverages and fun for all ages.

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How can you help? 

We are seeking funding to help cover each phase of this campaign. In phase one, we need funds that will cover the expenses for the production costs of the storytelling documentaries, as well as generation of a website and marketing for this campaign so that we can reach a larger audience building up to the 2018 elections. In phase two, we hope to raise funds to allow us to cover the statewide tour, including talent, venues, production and other details. Our sponsoring partner Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, so all donations will be tax-deductible.

Those of us lucky enough to call the Great Lakes our home know that fresh, clean, safe water is our shared identity. Our shared legacy. Our shared responsibility. We’ve found ourselves in the midst of a crisis that will not fix itself. Let’s make some magic happen and change the game together! We hope you’ll join us and we welcome your feedback and questions as we move forward.

Seth Bernard (founder, Earthwork Music)

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