The DEQ and Great Lakes Commission today announced nearly $69,000 in grants to help nine organizations support volunteer water quality monitoring work.
The grants are awarded through the DEQ’s MiCorps Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program to provide training and support to help volunteers collect quality data on the state’s water resources.
This year’s awardees are divided into three categories:
• Aquatic macroinvertebrate survey grants, which provide two years of funding for existing volunteer programs to continue to monitor macroinvertebrates like insects and crustaceans in shallow streams and rivers.
• Aquatic macroinvertebrate survey start-up grants, which provide one year of funding for organizations developing a new volunteer monitoring program.
• Road/stream crossing inventory grants, which are new in 2015 and provide one year of funding to establish a volunteer program to assess the condition of streams at road crossings and prioritize sites for restoration.
The nine organizations awarded grants in these categories are:
Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Survey Grants
• Ingham Conservation District – $12,000 to expand its monitoring program to add 12 new sites in previously unsampled tributaries of the Red Cedar River watershed and parts of the Middle and Upper Grand River watersheds.
• Van Buren Conservation District – $11,000 to expand its monitoring program to add six to eight new sites in the Paw Paw River and Black River watersheds in Van Buren County while educating residents about water quality and the importance of healthy habitat.
• Little Forks Conservancy – $10,000 to expand its monitoring program to add six new sites in the Cedar River watershed, a sub-watershed of the Tittabawassee River watershed, located in Gladwin and Clare Counties, as well as develop a sustainable monitoring plan and strengthen collaboration among area conservation groups.
• Friends of the Shiawassee – $8,500 to expand its monitoring program to add six new sites within the Shiawassee River watershed and to collect baseline data to build a long-term dataset on the health of the river while engaging community organizations, local governments and residents on the importance of water quality.
• The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay – $8,500 to expand its monitoring program to add 12 new sites within the Grand Traverse Bay watershed. This project will help track stream trends and detect early changes to the stream system while raising awareness and providing information to the public by giving presentations and creating educational materials.
Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Survey Start-Up Grants
• Cass County Conservation District – $2,991 to establish a macroinvertebrate monitoring program in the Dowagiac River and Rocky River watersheds in Cass County.
• St. Joseph County Conservation District – $2,128 to establish a macroinvertebrate monitoring program in the Rocky River and Prairie River watersheds in St. Joseph County.
Road/Stream Crossing Inventory Grants
• Van Buren County Road Commission – $8,500 to conduct a road/stream crossing inventory of the Paw Paw River watershed in Van Buren County to assist with prioritizing road fixes that will reduce flooding and erosion and improve the physical and biological conditions of the river to reflect natural conditions.
• Clinton River Watershed Council – $4,940 to conduct a road/stream crossing inventory in rural and suburban areas of the Stony Creek and Upper Clinton River subwatersheds in Oakland and Macomb Counties to help identify priority areas for restoration and infrastructure improvements.