Subject of the Month: 2020

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August 2020: National Water Quality Month

A view of the coastline of a body of water from high above; the land (at the top of the image) looks to be mostly farmland and forest, with buildings scattered here and there; a starkly visible cloud of algae covers a large area of water at the bottom of the image; the words 'August is National Water Quality Month' overlay an empty expanse of water on the right-hand side of the image

Selector: Clayton Hayes

August is National Water Quality Month, so I have gathered resources related to water quality for our August 2020 Subject of the Month. As someone who was born and raised in Michigan, I know how easy it can be to take freshwater resources for granted. The size and scope of the Great Lakes means it can be easy to forget how much work goes in to maintaining water systems. Even here in the Great Lakes region, where water can feel like a limitless resource, water quality remains an essential part of our everyday lives and should not be overlooked. With this in mind, I've expanded the scope of this guide a bit beyond just water quality and have included resources related to freshwater systems and ecology here in the Great Lakes region, as well.

Image credit: Aerial Associates Photography, Inc. by Zachary Haslick for the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

Databases, August 2020

Electronic Journals, August 2020

Special and Archival Collections, August 2020

Note that these resources are only available on-site at the Reuther and Purdy-Kresge libraries. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Purdy-Kresge Library is expected to remain closed through the Fall 2020 semester while the Reuther Library will allow research visits by appointment only. Updates regarding library access may be found at

Michigan Environmental Justice oral histories

from the 2014 WSU School of Information Sciences Oral Histories course:

Organizations Invested in Water Quality, Local to International

The words

Detroit Water and Sewerage Department - Water Quality Reports

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) produces yearly reports on the water quality in the city of Detroit.

The Belle Isle Conservancy logo, with the name of the organization below a row of three squares; the squares feature silhouettes of: an oak leaf, an adult and child with fishing poles, and the dome of the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory

Belle Isle Conservancy

The Belle Isle Conservancy's mission is to protect, preserve, restore and enhance the natural environment, historic structures and unique character of Belle Isle as a public park for the enjoyment of all – now and forever.

Stylized logo for Friends of the Rouge, with a water-like pattern over the word

Friends of the Rouge

Friends of the Rouge (FOTR) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that was founded in 1986 to raise awareness about the need to clean up the Rouge River in southeast Michigan.

The letters

Southeast Michigan Council of Governments

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) supports local planning through its technical, data, and intergovernmental resources. The work SEMCOG does improves the quality of the region's water, makes the transportation system safer and more efficient, revitalizes communities, and spurs economic development.

Logo for Healthy Urban Waters, with the name of the organization surrounded by a stylized water pipe; a large drop of water falls from the pipe on the left-hand side, within which the Detroit city skyline is visible

Healthy Urban Waters

Healthy Urban Waters (HUW) is a collaboration of Wayne State University researchers networked with the community to focus on water in an urban setting and future impacts of human culture on community, ecosystem, and economic health.

The letters

Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy - Water

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) establishes water quality standards, oversees public water supplies, regulates the discharge of industrial and municipal wastewaters, monitors water quality and the health of aquatic communities, develops policy, and fosters stewardship.

The letters

Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) includes a wide range of water quality-related material, like their Water Quality Standards, Great Lakes resource page, and Water Topics guide.

The letters

United States Geological Survey - Water Resources

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) works with partners to monitor, assess, conduct targeted research, and deliver information on a wide range of water resources and conditions including streamflow, groundwater, water quality, and water use and availability.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Environmental Program

As the nation’s environmental engineer, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) manages one of the largest federal environmental missions: restoring degraded ecosystems; constructing sustainable facilities; regulating waterways; managing natural resources; and, cleaning up contaminated sites from past military activities.

International Joint Commission

Canada and the United States created the International Joint Commission (IJC) to manage lake and river systems along their shared border. The IJC has two main responsibilities: approving projects that affect water levels and flows across the boundary and investigating transboundary issues and recommending solutions.

The words

World Health Organization - Water

The World Health Organization (WHO) is an agency within the United Nations that works internationally to coordinate health-related goals and policies.

eBooks, August 2020

Water Quality

The Great Lakes

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