Active | February 18 2016
At the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, a set of 2 aged pipelines conveys ~23 million gallons of oil each day. The pipelines operated by Enbridge Energy, known as Line 5, were built to last about 50 years. That was 63 years ago. In the years between 1999-2013 alone, millions of gallons of oil have been spilled from Enbridge pipelines, including a 226,000 gallon spill in Crystal Falls, MI and a 1 million gallon spill on the Kalamazoo River. With regard to the section that crosses the Straits, a number of groups contend that the pipelines as currently operating are not in compliance with the easement agreement.
There is no question that an oil spill in the Straits would be disastrous. A recent study published by the University of Michigan, which is a follow up to an earlier study they published in 2014, shows that a oil spill in the Straits could impact over 700 miles of coastline, with impacts above and below the water.
Three Great Lakes Chapters - Chicago, Milwaukee, and Lake Michigan - have banded together and joined with the Oil and Water Don't Mix coalition to shut down Enbridge Energy's oil pipelines across the Straits of Mackinac.
Everyone should have access to clean water to surf, swim and play in. The Surfrider Foundation is taking a multi-tiered approach to tackle ocean pollution problems. We are testing the waters for bacteria and toxins, raising public awareness and finding real solutions to ocean pollution; solutions that restore healthy watersheds, protect local water supplies and keep pollution from reaching the ocean.Learn More