'Why are we not working to fix this': Save Lake St. Clair movement gaining support
Michigan resident started the organization after seeing sewage, muck balls washed up on the shoreline
After moving near the shoreline of Lake St. Clair, Michael Gutow couldn't believe what he saw; the lake plagued with mucky brown water washing up along the shore.
"It accumulated in several spots along our shoreline," said Gutow. "Literally algae, muck balls with everything else. It smelled like other things mixed into it as well."
The Michigan man said he started to research the problem and noticed a pattern. Every time it rained, the dirty water would overflow causing closures at the nearby Metropark Beach.
"It wasn't until you moved to the shoreline that you actually see the problems first hand and that was back in 2011," said Gutow. "I tried for four years talking with every representative I could - anyone that I could try to find and try to bring this to light."
A number of local politicians advised Gutow to rally other concerned citizens together to show support for the cause. Gutow said that's when the 'Save Lake St. Clair' movement started.
"It just got to the point where enough was enough," said Gutow. "It grew from one person, to two, to four, eight, 16 and now 25,000 people plus liking our [Facebook] page. And it's growing everyday".
The organization's Facebook page features several videos and photographs of Lake St. Clair. Many of which have images of dead fish, dirty water and sewage overflow.
"We can fix this and stop this from happening. This is 2017. This is not 1950 anymore. We have the technology. We have the capability. We know what needs to be done. Why are we not working to fix this. Especially when water is life and everyone needs clean water to live on," said Gutow.
The page's popularity sparked a town hall meeting earlier this month. Michigan health department officials, environmental regulators and other heads of state were in attendance.
"What's nice is the ball is moving, it's rolling," said Gutow. "I was even invited to our capitol to speak about a bill that's being sponsored. People are starting to realize this is something that's fixable."
Gutow said the ultimate fix would be to have old infrastructure replaced with new infrastructure that would separate sewage water from storm water. He adds the likeness of sewage overflow in the lake would be nearly nothing if those changes were made.
"This has been going on for decades and it's only getting worse".