Sixteen organizations have been selected to receive 2016 Volunteer River, Stream and Creek Cleanup grants totaling more than $32,000 to be awarded by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
Michigan’s Volunteer River, Stream, and Creek Cleanup Program (VRSCCP) provides small grants in the range of $500 to $5,000 to local units of government to help implement cleanup of trash and debris within or along the banks of rivers, streams, and creeks to improve the waters in Michigan. Grant applications were received, reviewed and assessed by Great Lakes Commission and DEQ; award notices went out to grantees in April 2016.
Funding for the VRSCCP is provided by DEQ through fees collected from the sale of the State’s Water Quality Protection license plates (Public Act 74 of 2000). The Great Lakes Commission administers the VRSCCP on behalf of the DEQ.
Groups selected to receive funding in 2016:
- Huron River Watershed Council – Huron River Coordinated Cleanups, $3,800
Aid in collaboration, coordination, and expansion of numerous existing river cleanups and foster the creation of new cleanups while engaging volunteers to maintain the cleanliness of both upriver and downriver stretches of the Huron River and Mill Creek.
- City of Grand Rapids – 13th Annual Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup, $3,750
To remove waste from the Grand River and its tributaries to promote regional water quality and increase West Michigan’s aesthetic appeal, making the Grand River and its tributaries a safer and cleaner place for West Michigan residents and an inviting place for visitors.
- City of Muskegon Heights – Little Black Creek Clean Up, $3,150
To conduct cleanup activities along the banks of Little Black Creek to reduce the amount of debris flowing through it into Mona Lake and into Lake Michigan.
- Barry Conservation District – 21st Annual Thornapple River Cleanup, $2,300
To remove all safely accessible trash from the water and along the banks at or below the water’s edge along 80 river miles, removing 60 cubic yards of trash and recycling all recovered metal and tires.
- City of Grand Haven – 6th Annual Ottawa County Cleanup, $2,250
To remove approximately 50 cubic yards of trash from a 20-mile section of the Grand River, especially in the area where the river drains into Lake Michigan.
- Grayling Charter Township – Au Sable River Cleanup, $2,203.13
To clean approximately 100 miles of the mainstream, south and north branch of the Au Sable River, removing 12-16 cubic yards of trash from the river.
- Ingham Conservation District – Lansing Rivers Cleanup, $2,174.80
To clean up sections of the Grand River, Red Cedar River, and Sycamore Creek within the City of Lansing and East Lansing, while engaging local citizens in learning more about the health of these rivers.
- Iron River Downtown Development Authority – Iron River Cleanup, $2,205
To remove trash and man-made debris from the Iron River while maintaining the quality of this Blue Ribbon Trout Stream’s fish habitat.
- St. Joseph County Conservation District – 2016 River Clean Up, $1,743
To clean 21 miles of the county’s rivers at seven sites on four different waterbodies.
- Shiawassee County Health Department – 21st Annual Shiawassee River Clean-up, $1,710
To remove trash and debris from the mainstem of the Shiawassee River and adjacent banks from Byron to Oakley, cleaning at least seven miles along the main stem of the river and targeting rural areas for tire removal.
- Petoskey Department of Parks and Recreation – Healing the Bear River Cleanup, $1,565
To maintain ecological and aesthetic integrity of the Bear River by involving the community in keeping it clean and healthy and by removing trash from at least the three highest priority areas along the river.
- Macatawa Area Coordinating Council – 10th Annual Macatawa River Cleanup, $1,462.50
To clean three miles of stream and remove four cubic yards of trash while engaging volunteers from surrounding communities.
- Grand Traverse Conservation District – 12th Annual Boardman River Clean Sweep, $1,394
To conduct the 12th annual community-wide cleanup of the Boardman River in conjunction with the American Rivers’ National River Cleanup’s 25th Anniversary and the 90th National Cherry Festival, including river and bank trash pick-up of human induced trash along all navigable segments of the River totaling approximately 30 miles.
- City of Battle Creek – 2016 Krazy for the Kazoo, $1,125
To remove more than 50 cubic yards of trash and hundreds of discarded tires while promoting the protection of the water resources within the Kalamazoo River watershed.
- Benzie Conservation District – Betsie River and Platte River Clean Sweeps, $885
To conduct both the 9th Annual Upper Platte River Clean Sweep and the 5th Annual Betsie River Clean Sweep in June 2016 as part of the American Rivers’ National River Cleanup 2016 to maintain the Betsie and Platte rivers as high quality recreational and ecological natural resources.
- Tuscola Conservation District – 8th Annual Cass River Cleanup, $715
To clean a five to seven mile section of the river from the dam near Caro to Deckerville Road, removing approximately 20 cubic yards of trash, tires, and scrap metal.
To inquire about specific volunteer opportunities, please visit our Calendar of Cleanup Events for contact information for each project.