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Pipe Out Paddle Protest Chicago: Enbridge Line 5

  • Montrose Beach 4400 North Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL, 60640 United States (map)

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Kayaks and Paddle Boards will be provided by Kayak Chicago. Thank you!

About The Event

The Surfrider Foundation Chicago Chapter is inviting paddlers of all descriptions (surfers/SUPers/kayakers/canoeists/swimmers), and even non-paddlers, to join the Pipe Out Paddle Protest - Chicago @Montrose Beach at 6pm, on Sept 1st. This event is to raise awareness and foster activism in support of protecting our Great Lakes waters and shutting down Enbridge Line 5. The event is FREE, and is being held in solidarity with the second annual Pipe Out Paddle Protest in Mackinaw City, MI on Sept 3rd.

  • Please arrive between 6:00–6:30PM
  • We will hit the water at 6:45PM
  • All are invited to join us afterwards at The Dock

Background Information

Enbridge is the Canadian energy company that deploys several giant pipelines from the Alberta tar sands fields SE to refineries in the US. The final product gets largely shipped overseas. 645 mile long Line 5 has a section that sits right on the BOTTOM of L Michigan, at the Straits of Mackinaw. The pipe is well over 60 years old now (with a 50 year lifespan), and covers several miles underwater. In our estimation, that fact alone should be grounds for shutting down the flow of oil. Added to discussion is Enbridge's checkered history with (many) oil spills - the most recent being the spill near Kalamazoo, MI, which ruined a waterway, and was notable for the slow response to the spill by Enbridge, and the general mismanagement of the clean up from that point forward. Their track record, we find, is abysmal, in prevention and response.

If there were a spill at the Straits, the collateral damage would be severe, fouling shorelines for miles in both directions due to the great surges of water between Huron and Michigan in that narrow passage. Recent computer dispersal models confirm this dire fear. Oil pollution in that region would be disastrous to the drinking water supply, local economies (tourism is a giant engine), and ruin some of the most pristine habitats known to this planet. Since, legally, this is an issue for the State of Michigan, well over 50 municipalities from that state have signed the Resolution to shut down this pipeline. We'd love to see Illinois get involved and offer, if nothing else, symbolic support of the Resolution, since we all share Great Lakes water for a multitude of purposes, and our collective destinies are, in part, tied in with the health of this great repository of fresh water.