Events in Mackinaw City to bring awareness to Line 5 threats

September 3, 2021

Michele Bourdieu, Keweenaw Now

MACKINAW CITY — Native and non-Native groups opposed to Enbridge’s Line 5 oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac will gather in Mackinaw City this Labor Day weekend — Sept. 3, 4 and 6 — for several events bringing awareness to the threats posed by Line 5 — an aging pipeline beneath the Straits of Mackinac — as well as the potential threat to Great Lakes water and bottomlands should a tunnel be built for Line 5.  

Line 5, which carries light crude oil and natural gas, is owned by the same company (Enbridge) that allowed the Kalamazoo River oil spill to occur. This 68-year-old dual pipeline poses too great a risk to the Great Lakes. If Line 5 breaks under the Straits, it will devastate the pristine waters of Lake Michigan for centuries. Many people are unaware of the danger that will completely change our way of life.

Both Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel have asked for Line 5 to be shut down. In fact, Line 5 has been operating illegally since May 2021. Gov. Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) notified Enbridge in November 2020 that the 1953 easement allowing it to operate dual pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac to transport petroleum and other products was being revoked and terminated. They gave Enbridge six months to decommission Line 5, but the company continues to operate it.*

On Friday, Sept. 3, a Potluck Feast will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Minogin Market, 229 S. Huron, Mackinaw City, to be followed by the Light Brigade at 9 p.m. under the Mackinac Bridge in Mackinaw City. Opponents of Line 5 can join the Light Brigade for a direct action with light panels.

On Saturday, Sept. 4, the 6th Annual Pipe Out Paddle Up Flotilla will be held from 8 a.m. to noon on the Mackinaw City side of the Mackinac Bridge, 102 W. Straits Ave. This flotilla is a large group of kayaks/kayaktivists demonstrating on the water to bring awareness to Line 5 and call for action. Tribal jimanns (large canoes) are also invited. This family and dog friendly event will include Tribal leadership, Water Ceremony, Jimaans, Pipe Ceremony, Tribal Drum, and Jingle Dancers. Food and water will be provided. Please bring your own water bottle.

Please consider making a donation to help cover event costs!
Donate via PayPal here:
https://www.paypa l.com/paypalme/paddleout2019

Donate to the Water Is Life Festival here:
https://www.waterislifefestival.org/donate 

CAMPING: Please email Jannan Cornstalk at jcornstalk@gmail.com to reserve a spot. Camping is first come first served and limited to 50 people.

Following the Pipe Out Paddle Up Flotilla on Saturday will be the Water is Life Festival from noon to 8 p.m. in Conkling Heritage Park, Mackinaw City. It will feature music, art, speakers, youth activities, food and more:

Poster courtesy Jannan J. Cornstalk

On Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6, Oil and Water Don’t Mixsupporters will gather at the Bridge Walk for two purposes: 1. To welcome Governor Whitmer as she finishes the bridge crossing. 2. To spread awareness about the urgency to shut down Line 5 by handing out postcards to bridge walkers. They will gather at the corner of Nicolet and Jamet streets in Mackinaw City, just off I-75 at the south end of the bridge where many people will begin and end their bridge walk. Click here to learn more and to sign up for a shift.

Editor’s Notes:

* See Keweenaw Now Nov. 13, 2020, article, “Governor Whitmer, DNR take action to revoke Enbridge easement, shut down Line 5 dual pipelines through Straits of Mackinac; AG Nessel files new lawsuit.”

** See: “Ancient underwater tribal cultural site discovered in Mackinac Straits near Line 5.”

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