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Oct. 13

The Nature Conservancy partners with Michigan Brewers Guild to highlight link between healthy forests and clean water

The Nature Conservancy in Michigan (TNC) and the Michigan Brewers Guild today announced a joint effort called Oktoberforest to highlight the important role healthy forests play in clean water — one of the key ingredients in brewing beer. Participating Guild members will have table tents on display with information on Oktoberforest, which runs through the month of October.

“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 our wildlife, workforce and water. So, 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 400 members rely on an abundant supply of clean, fresh water, 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 craft brewers pride themselves on using the best ingredients available to brew their beer and that includes water from right here in the Great Beer State. For our industry to thrive now and into the future it’s paramount to preserve and protect one of our most valuable natural resources — water.”

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.

Breweries participating in Oktoberforest include Saugatuck Brewing Company and Third Nature Brewing in West Michigan, Lansing Brewing Company in mid-Michigan and Thumb Brewery in the Thumb region.

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

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, TNC works to create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together.

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