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DEQ awards stream monitoring grants

June 12, 2014

For More Information:
Brad Wurfel, 517-373-7917,
Bill Dimond, 517-241-9565,

The DEQ and Great Lakes Commission today announced nearly $50,000 in grants to help seven organizations perform local water quality monitoring work.

The grants are awarded through the DEQ’s MiCorps Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program to provide training for volunteers, supporting their work to collect data on aquatic life as a measure of water quality. The program was created to assist the DEQ in establishing a comprehensive, statewide volunteer water quality monitoring network to help preserve and protect Michigan’s surface waters.

This year’s awardees included four full grants and three start-up grants. Full grants provide two years of support for existing volunteer programs to monitor macroinvertebrate communities and habitat characteristics in wadable streams and rivers. Start-up grants provide one year of support for organizations seeking to develop volunteer monitoring programs. The funding supports design of a monitoring strategy as a first step toward the development of a full proposal for a monitoring program.

The data collected through these volunteer water quality monitoring programs are used to support local activities and the DEQ's efforts to protect and manage the state's water resources. The seven organizations awarded to support volunteer monitoring work beginning in 2014 are:

• Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies - $11,651 to monitor macroinvertebrate populations and stream conditions at nine sites in the upper Manistee River watershed, while educating residents on water quality and protection. Data collected will be used to identify degraded areas within the watershed where best management practices can be implemented.

• Timberland Resource Conservation and Development Area Council - $11,623 to monitor macroinvertebrate and habitat conditions at seven sites in the Coldwater River and its tributaries, including Tyler and Duck Creeks and Messer Brook. The long-term dataset will be used to benchmark changing conditions in the streams and to develop recommendations for long-term protection and enhancement of the river and its tributaries.

• Marquette County Conservation District - $11,220 to generate water quality data and to foster stewardship in local citizens and partners through macroinvertebrate monitoring at eight sites along the Escanaba River, a coldwater trout stream that suffers from sediment deposition from degraded road-stream crossings.

• Jackson County Conservation District - $7,950 to expand their Adopt-a-Stream program to monitor macroinvertebrate populations at 10 new sites within the upper Grand River watershed and to recruit new volunteers to the program. The district will use volunteer engagement to educate the public on water quality issues within the Jackson urbanized area and the upper Grand River watershed.

Start-Up Grants:

• Van Buren Conservation District - $2,923 to establish a macroinvertebrate monitoring program along the middle section of the Paw Paw River watershed, which is a tributary to the St. Joseph River.

• Ingham Conservation District - $2,354 to establish a macroinvertebrate monitoring program in the upper and middle Grand River and Red Cedar River watersheds within Ingham County.

• Little Forks Conservancy - $2,276 to establish a macroinvertebrate monitoring program in the upper section of the Cedar River, a blue ribbon trout stream within the Saginaw Bay watershed.

The DEQ 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 grants, contact Dr. Paul Steen of the Huron River Watershed Council at

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