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Clean energy advocates joined conservation and elected leaders to march for clean air, Great Lakes protections

TRAVERSE CITY – Saturday, April 29 at 12:00 p.m., local leaders and residents gathered at the Open Space Park in Traverse City to rally and march to highlight the dangerous effects of climate change and pollution on Northwest Michigan and communities around the world.

The march ran along Front Street through downtown Traverse City and was followed by musical performances by local artists. The event was organized by the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, with the support of local sponsors and community partners.

The event featured remarks from Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers, Percy Bird of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians and many others. The events and actions were organized to coincide with the Peoples Climate March also happening in Washington D.C. that same day.

As the Trump Administration continues its efforts to rollback basic protections for our communities and our air, land and water, it is so important to have thousands of Michiganders standing up and speaking out like we saw today,” said Lisa Wozniak, executive director of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “In the wake of recent court rulings easing the way for President Trump to repeal the Clean Power Plan, Michigan’s elected leaders need to hear loud and clear that we expect them to expand our use of clean, renewable energy that lowers costs and reduces dangerous pollution.”

Today is a call to action for all people to come together to advocate for the long term protection of the Great Lakes and all our essential natural resources,” said Percy Bird of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. “We have an obligation to act for the sake of our communities and for the health of our planet for future generations.”

As Mayor of Traverse City, I am incredibly proud that our community recently approved a plan to push forward to generate 100 percent of our electricity from clean, renewable energy,” said Mayor Jim Carruthers. “My hope is that Traverse City’s leadership and the passion of today’s march will inspire other Northern Michigan communities to push the envelope and go further to put themselves ahead of the curve on addressing climate change and cleaning up our energy supply.”

The thousands of people who gathered to march today understand that we need to get serious about addressing the extreme weather and uncertain future posed by a changing climate,” said Eric Keller, northern Michigan regional coordinator of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters. “That is why we are calling on our leaders and fellow citizens to push for swift action to protect our economy and our way of life by expanding the use of clean energy that reduces dangerous pollution while creating local jobs and reducing electricity costs for Michigan families.”

Event co-hosts include the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Groundwork Center, FLOW, Neahtawanta Research and Education Center, Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC), Northern Michigan ​Citizen’s Climate Lobby, Michigan Climate Action Network, Michigan Environmental Council, TC 350, Women’s March Michigan, and Women2Women.

Photo: South Bend Voice via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.