July 10, 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017

What’s Ahead for Line 5?

The state is currently asking for public comment on its draft analysis of alternatives to the existing Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac, to help the state develop an action plan. The public can comment on the draft plan until August 19, once the public comment period closes the state will review the feedback and provide a final draft this fall.

Line 5 is a 645-mile pipeline, owned and operated by Enbridge, that runs on top of the lake bottom through 4.5 miles of the Straits of Mackinac. The 64-year-old pipeline transports up to 540,000 barrels of light crude oil and natural gas liquids every day.

Last year, the state requested an independent review of potential alternatives to the pipeline to help inform the state of the future of Line 5. This was around the same time that the PIPES Act was reinstated and as CMF reported last summer, the act is aimed at enhancing oversight and pipeline safety.

The pipeline has been a contentious issue, with concerns that a major spill would greatly affect the public health, environment and economic well-being of our lakeshore towns.

Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, a nonprofit in Petoskey supported by CMF members, says, “A pipeline rupture would be devastating for Northern Michigan. It could result in contamination of our surface, ground, and drinking water supplies and death or disease of fish, aquatic insects, birds, and other wildlife.”

The 337-page analysis, performed by an independent contractor and released by the state, examines the existing Line 5, the potential scenarios around abandoning Line 5 and alternative routes.

Highlights from the analysis

  • It’s estimated a spill would cost $100 million to $200 million in clean-up efforts, with 60 percent of the costs going toward environmental needs.

  • A potential spill could impact 20 miles of shoreline primarily affecting Cheboygan, Emmet and/or Mackinac counties.

  • In finding alternatives to the pipeline, the study didn’t suggest using the existing structure, saying that in many cases a new pipeline or using rail would be required due to the volume of crude oil Line 5 currently transports. For tankers, this would mean using 3,200 tanker trucks per day, which isn’t feasible.

  • The analysis says abandoning Line 5 “would adversely impact Michigan consumers,” with increased propane costs in the UP and potentially higher gas prices by 2 cents per gallon in the mitten due to increased crude oil delivery costs. It’s estimated to cost about $200 million to remove the line from the Straits.

  • However, shutting down Line 5 and removing it would create nearly 2,000 near-term jobs.

  • The construction of a new trenched approach would cost about $30 million and a tunnel crossing would cost about $150 million. Such construction is estimated to generate between 400 and 1,800 near-term jobs.

  • The analysis says building a new southern route would be the most feasible alternative, with the line running through existing Enbridge routes through Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, but the new pipeline would encounter congested urban areas.

  • The draft says Line 5 could operate “indefinitely."

Throughout the study many potential scenarios are examined but there are no recommended action steps. As MLive reports, “It's up to the state Pipeline Safety Advisory Board to recommend what action, if any, the governor or attorney general should take in regard to continued operation of Line 5.”

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is calling for a comprehensive plan with a “specific and definite timetable to close Line 5.”

Schuette’s statement noted the tunnel option from the report saying, “One viable option, a tunnel under the Straits, would create infrastructure and construction jobs in Michigan and would allow for continuous visual inspection.”

Enbridge inspected the pipeline last month and said Line 5 is safe and undergoes routine safety inspections "which go beyond regulatory requirements."

The state just held its first public meeting on the draft analysis on Thursday, with more planned next week in Holt, Traverse City and St. Ignace.

Want more?

Share your comments on the draft plan.

Read the full draft analysis.

Check out Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council’s pipeline resources.






Serving Up Summer Meals

We’re in the middle of summer for Michigan kids, it’s prime produce season and farmers markets across the state are bustling, providing fresh food to families and underserved neighborhoods.

With more than 46 percent of Michigan students eligible for free or reduced lunches, the summer months can mean food scarcity for many. 

Food assistance by the numbers:

The Kids Count in Michigan Data Book recently shared these stats and recommended stakeholders “support and promote programs that increase access to fresh food and reduce food insecurity.”

Programs and initiatives to address food insecurity in the summer months as well as year-round continue throughout Michigan.

Double Up Food Bucks, developed by the Fair Food Network, facilitated by the Governor's Office of Foundation Liaison (OFL), and supported by more than 25 CMF members, matches $1 to $1 on SNAP dollars spent on fresh produce at farmers markets, produce stands and grocery stores to ensure Michigan communities have access to healthy food. The program began as a pilot program in Detroit.

“The Double Up model was seeded in Michigan and our home state continues to be a proving ground for innovation,” Oran B. Hesterman, president and CEO of Fair Food Network said.

Double Up Food Bucks just released its 2017 reports showing its growth across the country and in Michigan.

The 2017 national snapshot of Double Up Food Bucks shows:

  • It’s currently in 22 states and more than 575 farmers markets, produce stands and grocery stores.

  • To-date there’s been more than $4.4 million in SNAP and Double Up sales across the nation.

  • About 3,380 farmers have also benefitted from the program, receiving financial incentives, as it increases farmer sales and “offers new direct and wholesale marketing opportunities.”

  • The program is in more than 100 grocery stores nationwide.

  • In Michigan, produce sales increased 34 percent at 12 grocery stores participating in Double Up Food Bucks.

Double Up Food Bucks is also being used in Flint to increase access to fresh food and mitigate the effects of lead exposure. The Flint Farmers Market has made major moves to ensure Flint families can eat healthy.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) recently shared that a Flint Fresh app will be released soon to provide easy access to services through the Flint Farmers Market and another bus will be added to the Flint mobile market program. BCBSM also provided a grant to the market to provide wraparound education and health services at specific market stops.

In addition to Double Up Food Bucks, the Michigan Good Food Fund, a $30 million public-private partnership loan fund, recently marked a major milestone of $10.5 million in statewide good food investments. The Michigan Good Food Fund provided financing to six food businesses across the state to help increase access to healthy food. The fund is a collaborative effort between Capital Impact Partners, Fair Food Network, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation with additional lending support from Northern Initiatives. 

In Grand Rapids, Kids Food Basket, a nonprofit, is providing about 3,500 meals for kids this summer at 25 different sites around the city. It’s one of many programs aimed at battling food insecurity and farmers markets are a major component statewide.

These are just some of the major programs and initiatives underway that are aimed at making sure the 46 percent of Michigan students who rely on free or reduced school lunches don’t go hungry in the summer months and strive to provide their families fresh food year-round.

Want more?

Read the latest about Double Up Food Bucks.

Learn more about the Michigan Good Food Fund.






What’s Trending in Corporate Giving

We’re getting an inside look at current trends in corporate giving, employee engagement, best practices and advocacy strategies in CECP’s Investing in Society Report.

The data shows the importance and benefits of being a purpose-driven company, with 64 percent of the CEOs polled saying that operating with a larger purpose is “a powerful motivator for us.”

The report shares the benefits of having a defined purpose, including:

  • Positive growth. 85 percent of “purpose-driven companies” showed positive growth within the last three years.

  • Giving is linked to financial returns. The report shares that companies who have grown their giving 10 percent or more, have also seen a median rate of 4.1 percent revenue growth.

  • Better performance in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) metrics. The data demonstrates that purpose-driven companies lead in total giving, revenue, women represented on boards and have lower rates of water usage.

However, that larger purpose or mission may not be as clear to everyone in an organization, including employees, as not even half of the CEOs felt their entire company was aware and understood the purpose. How can corporate foundations and giving programs best engage their colleagues?

For one, curating experiences that are designed around and for your employees’ schedules and preferences are gaining more traction.

The report gives us a look at what’s trending with companies leading the way in employee engagement, including:

  • Collaborating with Human Resources. The report shows that 73 percent of corporate giving professionals have higher collaboration with their HR department to help “develop the potential of purpose-oriented employees.”

  • Flexible volunteer programs. CECP reports there’s a growing focus on engaging individuals in companies with flexible volunteer programs. The number of volunteer hours on company time has increased the past two years to 41,000 and 35,000 hours, compared to 27,000 in 2014. 

  • Paid release time and flexible scheduling. About 60 percent of companies are offering programs designed around paid release time and flexible scheduling to engage their employees. These were the two opportunities offered by the most companies. Company-wide volunteer days were offered by 48 percent of companies.

  • Open choice matching programs. In 2016, about 49 percent of companies were open to letting employees choose nonprofit organizations where they wanted to match their giving.

While corporate giving leaders continue to seek the most effective ways to engage their employees and increase their impact, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes when it comes to messaging, especially amid a divisive political landscape.

The report highlights how companies view their current communications plans and role in leading to change in the future.

The data shows:

  • 61 percent of companies don’t plan to change their current strategy on how they communicate on social issues.

  • 56 percent of corporate giving leaders feel equipped to handle the current business and sociopolitical environment.

  • 66 percent of CEOs said companies will “lead progress in long-term societal improvements.”

The report further demonstrates previous evidence, that corporate giving has financial and social returns and companies that are driven by purpose or values linked to giving and employee engagement typically perform better than those who do not.

Connect with your Michigan corporate foundation and giving peers to discuss what they’re doing at their organization, successes and challenges as well as issues facing your work at the upcoming Summer Corporate Roundtable on August 8 in Detroit.

Want more?

Read CECP’s Investing in Society Report.






YACs in the Spotlight
Highlights of the 25th anniversary of the Youth Grantmakers Summer Leadership Conference

The youth philanthropy birthday bash celebrating 25 years of the Youth Grantmakers Summer Leadership Conference has wrapped up, and now we’re getting a look at the complete youth advisory council/committee (YAC) experience through a newly released conference wrap-up video, a photo album and more.

What’s a YAC? Community foundations’ youth advisory councils/committees (YACs) are comprised of high school age grantmakers who work passionately on grantmaking that impacts their communities.

As CMF recently shared, YAC history dates back to the Kellogg Youth Challenge grant, managed by CMF, that led to 84 endowed youth funds overseen by youth being established at every community foundation and affiliate across the state. The grant launched the Michigan Community Foundations’ Youth Project (MCFYP), creating the first YACs. In 1992, the first youth conference was held.

Now, 25 years later it’s still growing. Nearly 300 youth, youth advisory council (YAC) advisors and speakers gathered at Central Michigan University in late June to celebrate the major anniversary of the youth conference.

The conference celebrated the milestone with breakout sessions and activities such as a scavenger hunt, a time capsule and a YAC alumni gathering.

Former YAC-ers and many who were involved in YAC development along the way joined in a discussion about how being a YAC can impact career decisions and make community impact. Dottie Johnson, who served as president and CEO of CMF for 25 years, along with Rob Collier, current CMF president and CEO joined in the conversation.

“It was truly incredible to bring together the intersection of the past, present, and future of youth grantmaking in the state of Michigan the whole weekend,” Danielle LaJoie, a CMF trustee, who helped plan the conference through her role as the 2017 Mawby Fund for Kids Summer Intern said.

LaJoie said a performance from the Raise It Up! Youth Poetry Team from Flint was a major highlight of the conference as they shared slam poetry about issues facing teens.

Four YACs were also presented with awards for their work in Michigan philanthropy. Ionia County YAC, Hillsdale County Community Foundation YOUTH, Fremont Area Community Foundation YAC and Battle Creek Community Foundation YAC took home the 2017 awards for community service project of the year, media usage, grant of the year and fundraiser of the year.

“Each year at this conference it’s evident that YACs do their best thinking and growing when they break out of their geographic bubble to collaborate with other youth grantmakers from across the state,” LaJoie said. “YACs are a constant presence in the landscape of community philanthropy in Michigan and that while we have accomplished so much in the past 25 years, we are growing and have many more years to look forward to.”

The MCFYP Committee, which collaborates with CMF to produce the two-day youth conference, is currently accepting applications.

Want more?

Watch the video roundup of the Youth Grantmakers Summer Leadership Conference.

Check out the conference photo album.

Read more about the 2017 YAC Award Recipients.

Learn about the history of YACs.

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