Adopt-A-Stream Offers Hands-On Environmental Opportunity

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

If you’re interested in learning more about the water quality of your local rivers, creeks or streams and don’t mind getting a little wet, the Clinton River Watershed Council’s Adopt-A-Stream program is an activity worth exploring.  This volunteer-based program invites residents and businesses alike a hands-on opportunity to monitor the health of our local waterways.

Volunteers are trained, teamed-up and assigned a location to monitor twice a year – once in May and once in October, for about three to four hours each time.  Equipment and data sheets will be provided for the collection of information on streamside habitat, physical characteristics, and benthic macroinvertebrate (bug) populations.   The presence of specific bugs, or lack thereof, is a good indicator of water quality.

The data collected is of great use to the Clinton River Watershed Council, local municipalities and the State of Michigan to assess the health of its local waterways and make decisions regarding protection and restoration.

For more information or to register for one of the free Adopt-A-Stream events, please contact the Clinton River Watershed Council by phone at 248-601-0606 or by email at registration@crwc.org.

Protect Yourself From West Nile Virus

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

We all like to get out and enjoy the warm summertime weather – but warm weather brings those pesky little mosquitos.  This is the time of year we want to protect ourselves from the West Nile Virus (WNV) and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Oakland County Health Department officials confirmed that one of their mosquito test pools tested positive for the virus earlier this month.  With that in mind, there’s no better time to remind everyone about the precautionary measures that reduce your risk of getting WNV and other diseases that mosquitos carry.  Just follow a few simple steps:

  • Use insect repellent in accordance to the manufactures recommendation
  • Eliminate standing water that collects in birdbaths, boats, buckets, tires, unused pools, roof gutters and other containers
  • Wear protective clothing such as long sleeved shirts and pants
  • Limit outdoor activity primarily between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
  • Avoid areas where mosquitoes may be present (i.e. shaded and wooded areas)
  • Maintain window and door screening to keep mosquitoes out of buildings
  • Following these simple steps should help everyone enjoy their summertime experiences

For more information on West Nile Virus please visit the Oakland County Health Department’s website.

A Record Crowd Celebrates River Day

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

The 14th Annual Auburn Hills Fishing Derby was held last Saturday on June 10th to celebrate River Day, and a record 114 young anglers were on hand for the occasion.  Warm weather, high waters and a river full of rainbow trout greeted over 160 attendees.

Derby participants tested their skills and patience in catching one of the 500 rainbow trout the City had released into the river.  Not every kid was fortunate enough to catch a fish (which must be why they call it “fishing” instead of “catching”) but all 114 kids walked away with a raffle prize thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and supporters.

Hats off to our Premier Sponsor, Bass Pro Shop, who stepped up big by donating 200 slightly used rods and reels for the City to refurbish and assemble for the raffle.

If you missed the Derby, there is still plenty of time to fish in Riverside Park or River Woods Park, although now you might need a little more patience to land one of the 15” rainbow trout now that they aren’t confined to just a small section of the river.

For information on what action you can take to protect our water resources and our resident trout population, please visit www.auburnhills.org/stormwater.php or http://www.crwc.org/.

A special thank you to all of our Fishing Derby sponsors and supporters.

Paddlepalooza Sets A New Record For Attendance

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

The combination of perfect weather and water levels drew 155 outdoor enthusiasts to participate in this year’s Paddlepalooza.  This river event is hosted by both Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills and allows paddlers from all around Southeast Michigan the opportunity to enjoy one of many recreational opportunities the river has to offer.

The festivities began in Riverside Park with both Auburn Hills Mayor, Kevin McDaniel and Rochester Hills Mayor, Bryan Barnett, thanking participants for their participation as well as touting the value of this great resource both communities take pride in protecting and enhancing for all to enjoy.

This year 28 men and ten women participated in the one-person kayak race, while 14 teams participated in the two-person canoe race.  The remaining 89 participants took a slower and steadier pace down the river to better enjoy the pristine views nature has to offer.

The event finished eight miles downstream in Rochester Hills, where participants had a chance to share stories while enjoying lunch on the patio of River Crest Banquet Facility.

Winners of the One Person Kayak Race – Men’s Division

  1. Richard Ensley – 1:15.25
  2. Vince Schnard – 1:18.04
  3. John Carricle – 1:18.08

Winners of the One Person Kayak Race – Women’s Division

  1. Gwenn Stevenson – 1:31.40
  2. Linda Gamage – 1:33.01
  3. Jean Dylong – 1:37.14

Winners of the Two Person Canoe Race

  1. David & Violet Fiddes – 1:34.18
  2. Jeffrey LeBlanc & Timothy Sosko – 1:42.00
  3. Kevin McDaniel & James Stevens – 1:44.06

As for the Mayors Cup Challenge, it was a three-peat for Mayor Kevin McDaniel and James Stevens (team Auburn Hills) who successfully defended the Cup, over Mayor Bryan Barnett and Jimmie Roach (team Rochester Hills).

Word has it, Rochester Hills, who always brings their A-game, was running strong and gaining ground before confronting a sideways canoe in their path.

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO THE FOLLOWING SPONSORS AND SUPPORTERS.

Plan to join in the fun next year at the 10th Annual Paddlepalooza on June 2nd!

Tick Tock Tick

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

It’s that time of year, bright sunshine and warm weather – perfect conditions to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.  However, it’s also time to protect against Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.  The unseasonably warm winter we experienced here in the great State of Michigan is expected to result in an increase in the tick population. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 221 reported human cases of Lyme Disease last year and several cases have already been reported this year.

While people know that ticks are found outdoors, they may forget that includes parks, golf courses, and backyards.  The Oakland County Health Division encourages people to take extra precaution in areas most likely to be infested, such as wooded or grassy areas, especially where deer and wildlife are present.  This is the best way to avoid potential infection.

Protect yourself before you venture outdoors by taking some of these steps:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, light-colored pants and closed-toed shoes
  • Tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET (20% – 30%) or Picaridin to exposed skin and to clothing
  • Apply permethrin to clothes and shoes but not directly to skin

After enjoying the outdoors in areas were ticks may be present, immediately check your entire body for ticks and take a hot shower as soon as possible. Parents may want to help their children check their bodies for ticks. Let’s not forget about dogs and cats because ticks can also enter your home on pets. Check pets often.

If you discover a tick attached to your skin, remove it quickly.   According to the Center if Disease Control, if it is removed within 24 hours you greatly reduce your chances of getting Lyme disease.

  • Grasp the tick with tweezers as close to the skin as possible
  • Pull gently but firmly, but do not squeeze the body of the tick
  • Try to pull the tick out without leaving mouth parts embedded in the skin
  • After removing the tick, wash hands and bite area thoroughly with soap and running water
  • Apply an antibacterial cream to the site of the bite

You may get a small bump or redness that goes away in 1-2 days, like a mosquito bite.  This is not a sign that you have Lyme disease.

Improtant Note:  Do not remove ticks by putting hot matches, nail polish, or petroleum jelly on the tick to try to make it pull away from your skin.  Be sure to see a doctor about your tick bite if you develop a fever, a rash, sever fatigue, facial paralysis or joint pain within 30 days of being bitten by a tick.  It is important to get treatment right away if you develop symptoms.

For more information on Lyme disease, visit www.oakgov.com/health.

Auburn Hills Students Help Monitor Clinton River Health

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

On May 22nd, students from Avondale High School headed out to Riverside Park to determine the overall water quality and health of the Clinton River.  Led by their teachers, parents, mentors from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and the City of Auburn Hills, the students conducted water quality tests and scientific surveys.

The Avondale students have been monitoring the health of the river for more than a decade through the Clinton River Watershed Council’s “Stream Leaders” program.  In addition to conducting chemical tests on the water, students donned waders and entered the flowing river to collect, identify and count macroinvertebrates.  Some of the creatures found included dragonfly nymphs, damselfly nymphs, scuds, and crayfish.

The City looks forward to seeing the final results of the data collected by these dedicated students.  We will be sure to share those findings when the data becomes available.

Click here for more information on how you can protect water quality.  To learn more about the Clinton River Water Council’s “Stream Leaders” program, please click here.

Water Festival Fun

Posted by – Stephanie Carroll, Manager of Business Development & Community Relations

On Friday, our staff attended one of my absolute favorite events at Oakland University – The 11th Annual Clinton River Water Festival.  Partners including, Waste Management, the Water Resources Commissioner’s Office, and the Clinton River Watershed Council come together to provide a full-day of activities for students.

The Festival is an educational and enjoyable learning experience for over 1,200 fifth-grade students from the Clinton River Watershed community schools in Oakland County.  As the conversations continue to revolve around sustainability and conservation, it’s important to recognize and get involved in programs like this.  Our very own Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner, was instrumental is starting this event at OU back in 2007— that’s something we are very proud of as a city.

The festival design allows students to learn about the central role water and the Clinton River play within the region. Some of the topics explored during the festival include storm water, waste water treatment, soil erosion, wetlands, creeks and streams, habitat, as well as sources of pollution.

The theme of the day is Celebrating water!