Five Groups Get Grants for Water Quality Monitoring

LANSING — Volunteers across the state are receiving grant funding from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to perform water quality monitoring work at streams in their area.

The grants are awarded through the MDEQ’s Michigan Clean Water Corps Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program to provide training and support for volunteers. These grants support the DEQ’s work to collect data on the state’s water resources.

The five organizations awarded grants to support volunteer monitoring work are:

* Missaukee Conservation District: $13,925 to monitor macroinvertebrate populations and stream habitat conditions at sites in the Upper Muskegon River and Manistee River watersheds, including Mosquito Creek, Muskegon River, Clam River, Hopkins Creek, and the Manistee River, while also raising awareness about water quality; promoting stewardship among the citizens of Missaukee County; and identifying problem areas where degradation has occurred and best management practices or remediation may be implemented.

* Jamestown Charter Township and Trinity Christian Reformed Church: $13,838 to monitor macroinvertebrate and habitat conditions in Rush Creek, a tributary to the Grand River in eastern Ottawa County, while partnering with high schools and local residents to educate community members on the importance of the creek and identifying problem areas to address within the watershed.

* Muskegon River Watershed Assembly: $13,132 to add additional macroinvertebrate and habitat assessment monitoring sites along the Bear, Sand, Brooks, Cedar, and Tamarack Creeks within the Muskegon River watershed, with the goals of educating Muskegon River watershed residents on ways to monitor, protect, and improve water quality; documenting changes in stream conditions over time; and determining problem areas where best management practices can be used to address nonpoint source pollution.

* Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway: $3,000 to develop a volunteer macroinvertebrate monitoring program along the Rabbit River, a tributary of the Kalamazoo River in Allegan County. The funding also supports the design of a monitoring strategy as a first step toward the development of a full proposal for a monitoring program.

* St. Joseph County Conservation District: $7,025 to conduct a road-stream crossing inventory that will assess 65-80 sites in the St. Joseph River watershed in St. Joseph County, including crossings over the Rocky River, Portage River, Prairie River, and Spring Creek. The results will assist in prioritizing road improvements where culverts are failing or not properly sized.

MiCorps was created to assist the MDEQ in establishing a comprehensive, statewide volunteer water quality monitoring network to help preserve and protect Michigan’s surface waters.

The MDEQ established the Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program in 1998 and contracted with the Great Lakes Commission to administer it as part of MiCorps in the fall of 2004. The Great Lakes Commission also partners with the Huron River Watershed Council, the Michigan Lake and Stream Associations Inc., and Michigan State University in administering the MiCorps Program.

For additional information about the Michigan Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program grants, contact Paul Steen, Huron River Watershed Council, at

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