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Shut Down Line 5

Keeping oil out of the Straits

Groundwork launched the initial campaign in 2013 to raise awareness about the risky 1950s era pipelines pumping 23 million gallons of oil every day right through the open waters of the Straits of Mackinac. With our leadership, in less than two years the Line 5 pipeline became Michigan’s top environmental issue. 

Groundwork led the formation of the Oil & Water Don’t Mix campaign, inviting more than 20 citizen environmental groups to join the effort. And we led the effort to take the bold position to shut down the pipelines, rather than replace or improve them, and entirely remove the risk of polluting our Great Lakes. 

In short, Groundwork has been at the center of efforts to keep oil out of the Great Lakes.

Making the business case

Michigan has legal authority over the fate of the pipelines on the bottomlands of the Great Lakes.  To bolster our state’s leaders to act, we are broadening our campaign beyond citizen and environmental groups to reach out to Michigan’s business community —especially those that are benefitting from the successful Pure Michigan marketing campaign. 

Our research has revealed that Enbridge is using the Line 5 pipeline as a convenient shortcut through the Great Lakes to pump surplus oil beyond Michigan to the East Coast and global markets. They are risking our ‘Pure Michigan’ waters with oil that we aren’t using. We get all the risk, and Enbridge gets the profit. It’s not a good deal for Michigan, and we believe our business community will galvanize around our campaign to shut down Line 5.



In 2014, Groundwork built a coalition of more than 20 statewide and regional citizen and environmental groups to join the Oil & Water Don’t Mix campaign to take action to shut down Line 5.

MEdia campaign

Groundwork kicked off a widespread media campaign in 2014, unveiling a website that acts as a clearinghouse for breaking pipeline information, and a television commercial that ran across northern Michigan.

Call for decommission

Groundwork was the first organization to publicly call for the shutdown of the pipelines. Today, all 20 partner organizations convened by Groundwork in the Oil & Water Don’t Mix campaign are calling for Line 5’s decommission.