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Oct. 16

The Nature Conservancy, Michigan Brewers Guild celebrate Michigan’s 20 million acres of forests throughout October

TNC’s Oktoberforest campaign runs through October, highlights important link between healthy forests and clean water

LANSING — The Nature Conservancy in Michigan (TNC) and the Michigan Brewers Guild have once again announced a joint effort to highlight the important role healthy forests play in clean water, one of the key ingredients in brewing beer. Oktoberforest is part of a nationwide effort by TNC to recognize how important healthy forests are to clean water.

“Healthy forests are critical to cleaning and protecting our water supply, and clean water is one of the most important ingredients in beer, which is why we are partnering with the Michigan Brewers Guild on our Oktoberforest campaign,” said Helen Taylor, state director of The Nature Conservancy in Michigan. “Just over half of Michigan is forested, and these 20 million acres play an important role for both people and nature. The next time you raise a pint of Michigan craft beer, remember it’s more than just the health of the Great Lakes that make Michigan the Great Beer State — it’s our forests too.”

Roughly 40% of the world’s usable water is stored and filtered through forests. From the tree canopy all the way down to root systems, every part of a forest plays a critical role in cleaning and protecting our water supply.

“Our nearly 300 members rely on clean, fresh water to brew their beer, which is why we’re proud to partner with The Nature Conservancy on this important effort,” said Scott Graham, executive director of the Michigan Brewers Guild. “Michigan’s brewers pride themselves on using the best ingredients available and that includes water from right here in the Great Beer State.”

Forests help ensure clean water by:

  • Stopping erosion and reducing runoff, ensuring rainfall doesn’t rush to the ground but is instead slowed by the leaves and branches of a tree. Once rainwater does meet the ground, tree roots slowly absorb it, reducing the amount of runoff and pollutants that enter our waterways.
  • Cleaning water and recharging groundwater, by filtering nutrients that are absorbed by tree roots, before water flows into underground aquifers, which provide an important source for clean water. At least 35% of the drinking water in the United States is supplied by groundwater.
  • Influencing rainfall patterns, by releasing water vapor into the atmosphere from a tree’s foliage. This helps produce something known as "rivers in the sky," which are responsible for rainfall both locally and thousands of miles away.

For more information visit the Oktoberforest page on TNC’s website.

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