Demonstrators gathered in Petoskey on Saturday, opposing the state's plan to build a tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac, which would house twin oil pipelines owned by Canadian company Enbridge Energy. They expressed frustration with a Michigan Senate bill passed on Wednesday which would create a three-person commission to oversee the tunnel.
More than 30 tribal citizens, Sierra Club members and local residents braved 28-degree-weather for hours, holding signs and waving at the cars on U.S. 31.
Jannan Cornstalk is a citizen of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and she organized the protest.
"They need to hear from the Michigan voters that this is not OK," she said. "I'm very disappointed that they would have something like a lame duck session, where they could do this behind-the-scenes finnagling without consulting the tribes or even consulting the Michigan voters."
Nancy Gallardo came up to the protest from nearby Camp Anishinaabek, where she and other water protectors have been staying since the summer. She's concerned about the membership of the proposed tunnel board.
"We really have to be on top of who is composed of this new board, and what relationship do they have to Enbridge or their subsidiaries," she said.
The Michigan House of Representatives is set to vote on the tunnel bill this week.
Enbridge is one of Michigan Radio's corporate sponsors.