Welcome!  WATCH is  a non-profit Michigan corporation dedicated to protecting the environmental quality of Charlevoix County, particularly its air and water resources.  In 2015 we will celebrate our 32th year as environmental stewards.




 Join Us May 26 in Mackinaw City to Send A Message to Michigan’s Leaders!

 Tuesday, May 26th at 2:00 – 5:00pm

Program 2:00-3:30

Conkling Heritage Park

300 S Huron Ave, Mackinaw City, MI


Two oil pipelines — older than the Mackinac Bridge — threaten the Great Lakes

at the Straits.  As 1,700 business, community, and political leaders gather for the annual Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island, we will be there to greet them near the ferry docks.  And very soon Michigan’s Petroleum Pipeline Task Force will announce their recommendations on one of the Michigan’s greatest environmental threats.

 A pipeline disaster at the Straits has been cited as the “worst place possible” for an oil spill, putting the source of drinking water for 35 million people and 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water at risk. When another Enbridge pipeline ruptured in 2010, it spilled about 1 million gallons of tar sands crude oil into the Kalamazoo River.  It was the largest land-based oil spill in U.S. history, and is still being cleaned up. Enbridge’s Line 5 through the Straits of Mackinac is 15 years older than that pipeline!

 Water defines, and is central to Michigan’s way of life. Communities and industries across the state understand that protecting our most valuable resource is a necessity.

The Call to Action is clear -We must Shut Down Line 5 to protect our Great Lakes.

Join your friends on the NMEAC sponsored bus from TC to Mackinaw City!

Information below!

As always, if you have questions or comments, please feel free to:

Contact Us by Email

 Book your seat on the bus now!

Bus: 56 passenger Blue Lakes Charter

Leaves TC: 11:00 am; loads after 10:30 am.

Where: Toms Acme Market (6353 US 31N, north of US-31 / M-72 intersection).

Bus leaves Mackinaw City:  7:00 pm.

Cost:  $25 each.  If paying with a check, please make it payable to NMEAC and mail it with your name, address and # of tickets to June Thaden, 520 Highland Park Dr, TC, MI 49686.

This schedule gives you time be an advocate for our precious water — to share information about the pipeline.  And also, to sit and relax with friends and food at one of the friendly Mackinaw City restaurants.

We’ll be sending final details by email (what to expect, program, what you might want to bring) to everyone registered by May 19.

NMEAC is one of twenty organizations of Oil & Water Don’t Mix. We are all passionate about our Great Lakes and our precious water.

Please join us.

There is still room on the comfortable Blue Lakes coach.  Claim your seat NOW, online!



St Marys Cement loses appeal

SMCrelease12-18-14This is a court case that St Marys Cement is involved with the EPA concerning being exempt from nitrous oxide emission standards. St Marys Cement lost its appeal. This should mean cleaner air for us in the Charlevoix area. We deserve high standards.

Excerpt from the opinion; The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment deemed the plant’s pollution controls sufficient and excused St. Marys from the retrofitting requirement. The United States Environmental Protection Agency disagreed and required the plant to add more stringent pollution controls. St. Marys petitions this court to vacate the decision, disclaiming the value of the required technology and claiming that the plant at any rate is exempt from the retrofitting requirement. We disagree on both fronts and deny St. Marys’ petition.

 Click here for the courts opinion

What affect does nitrous oxide have on our atmosphere? Click here to read more


On March 17 a suit was filed by Philip Bellfy, et. al, seeking an injunction against the transfer of over 11,000 acres of public land –1836 Ceded Territory– to Graymont Mining

Click here

welcomeHere is a link to the notes from the first meeting (12-10-14) of the DNR Fisherman’s Island park planning team.

Click here

Here is a link to the notes from the second meeting (2-19-15) of the DNR Fisherman’s Island park planning team.

Click here





  The Charlevoix City council votes to stop the marina expansion.

Posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 8:30 am | Updated: 9:21 am, Thu Feb 19, 2015

Read more here



bill pic letter1
Click on to enlarge


Boyne City Gazette Article


WATCH Vice President Bill Henne’s letter to SMC

Mr. Cortney Schmidt
Environmental Manager
St. Marys Cement

Dear Cortney,
The Land Swap Concept has put some space into our relationship since your days as a member of the WATCH Board of Directors. On our board I found you fair, insightful and full of good ideas.
One of your good ideas was manifested when you and Dirk Cox made a very large point of saying, soon after the Land Swap Concept was made public, that if there was a lot of community opposition to this idea, St. Marys would withdraw the proposal.
Since then, the Charlevoix Township Board and the City of Charlevoix Council have both voted unanimously to oppose the swap. The Petoskey News Review printed an editorial strongly opposing the swap. WATCH has always been opposed to the swap. In addition, it has become increasingly clear to us that an overwhelming number of citizens of our community are very much opposed to the swap.
The St. Marys committee, which was initially viewed by some as a good idea, has ended in controversy to say the least. The committee was composed of citizens of this community. But, as was succinctly pointed out in a recent letter to the editor in the Petoskey News Review, Fisherman’s Island State Park is the business of the whole state.
We feel that you have been a good neighbor, and we think you feel the same way. Everyone thinks you have improved the environment of the cement plant in many ways. The Land Swap Concept would not be one of those ways.
We, therefore, call upon you now to honor your commitment to yield to the sentiment of our community and withdraw your Fisherman’s Island Land Swap proposal. It would be your best public relations move yet.

Bill Henne, Vice President of WATCH

What’s New with WATCH, Inc

In the last few months WATCH, inc has made some changes. After a handful of Board Directors retired from their posts three new members of our community have decided to help take on the challenge of protecting the water and air resources of Charlevoix County.

With the recent changes on the board expected changes here, on the web. Our Website is being redesigned and reengineered to reflect the new composition of the Board; meshing the experienced with the newbies. Our goal is to continue to meet and surpass the goals and visions of WATCH, inc and it’s numerous members.

What to look for…

Check out the new sidebar, just to the left of this blog. Here you can see the start of what is to come. We will be keeping you updated on local, state, national and International environmental issues, movements, and news thats important to you. (The international menu has been added… check out the post on World Water Day 2013). Also you can see the menu item for the Directors & Staff and will provide you with information about the current board, employee, and volunteers; so you can get to know the people of the organization that you support. 

Keep checking back for more information on events and what WATCH is focusing on. The Board has transitioned and ready to get rolling on new and exciting projects.

Charlevoix Residents

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

These are pictures of the removal (12/8/14) of some underground tanks that contained dry cleaning chemicals in conjunction with the Charlevoix Municipal Well Superfund Site.

Donate Now

Click the “Donate” button.  Your credit card or PayPal payment will be processed for us by PayPal, safely and securely.  Of course, you can mail your donation, too.

On behalf of one of the most beautiful places in the world, we thank you!


Our members are concerned citizens, aware of the need to be actively involved with issues that threaten our environment.  For more than 25 years, they have protected the water and air resources so important to the area.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see a calendar of WATCH events. We welcome anyone who shares our mission to join us.

Interested in getting involved?  Let us know by clicking on the green SUBSCRIBE button above.  Already a member?  You can also update your contact information — your mailing address, your email address — by clicking here.

Stay in Touch

We have other options for staying in touch:

  • “Like” us on Facebook — or just follow our posts from here on the website
  • Subscribe to our RSS feeds for posts & comments (Click the words RSS)
  • Subscribe to our website & have an email sent to you with each new post (put your email in the box and click the “Follow” button)
  • Tell us about problems using our Citizen WATCH Dog Form (click the link above)

Or you can mail or email us at:

PO Box 615
Charlevoix, MI 49720
email: watchcharlevoix@gmail.com

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