Coalition to Save the Menominee River holds 2nd annual Water Celebration

Dozens gathered at Stephenson Island Park to raise money to fight the potential Back Forty Mine project
The Coalition to Save the Menominee River held its second annual Water Celebration on Saturday
The Coalition to Save the Menominee River held its second annual Water Celebration on Saturday(WLUC)
Published: Jul. 23, 2022 at 8:57 PM EDT
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MARINETTE, Wis. (WLUC) - On Saturday in Wisconsin, the Coalition to Save the Menominee River once again celebrated the Menominee River. Dozens of people gathered at Stephenson Island Park for the 2nd annual Water Celebration.

The event commemorated clean and accessible water. But, coalition founder Dale Burie said the event was about something more.

“We are here to protect the Menominee River from the potential threat of sulfide mining,” said Burie.

The coalition is concerned about the health of the river. According to Gold Resource Corporation, construction on the Back Forty Mine is expected to start by 2023. That phase is two years.

However, the permitting process is not complete, and the mine is expected to be in operation for 12 to 14 years.

One of Saturday’s guest speakers was Al Gedicks, who is the executive secretary for the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council. He said a potential mine could have a negative impact on those who use water from the river.

“If the project goes ahead with the permitting, the public needs to understand that their participation and their review of the claims of a company are going to be critical in determining whether the state of Michigan is going to hold this company accountable,” Gedicks said.

All of the money raised goes towards the coalition’s efforts to protect the Menominee River.

“Now is the time for people to roll up their sleeves and get involved,” Burie said. “There’s not going to be a second chance. Acid mine drainage could leech for thousands of years.”

Burie hopes there will be another water celebration next year. He also said the coalition is prepared for a legal fight should applications for Back Forty Mine receive approval.

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