Avondale Students Assess the Health Of The Clinton River

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, City Planner

Just before the end of the school year, over 300 students and teachers from Avondale High School met with mentors from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the City of Auburn Hills at Riverside Park to assess the condition of the Clinton River.

The students conducted a variety of activities such as recording the type and number of organisms found in the river, conducting chemical assessments of the water, measuring the width, depth, and velocity of the river, and evaluating the condition of the river bank.

Avondale High School has been monitoring the health of the river for more than a decade through the Clinton River Watershed Council’s Stream Leaders Program.  The final results of all the data and information collected by the students this year indicate that the segment of the Clinton River flowing through Downtown Auburn Hills is in good condition.

For more information on how you can protect water quality, please visit www.auburnhills.org/stormwater.php

To learn more about the Clinton River Water Council’s Stream Leaders Program, please visit www.clintonriver.org.

The Search Continues

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

It’s this time of year there’s snow on the ground and temperatures outside are in the 20’s or low 30’s if we’re lucky.  This type of weather is not for the faint of heart, but a growing number of Michiganders enjoy this winter wonderland and all it has to offer.

It’s also the time when the Stonefly nymph begin to emerge from the cold waters of our local rivers and streams and when the Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC) looks for volunteers to search for the Stonefly nymph. The Stonefly is a creature that only measures about 7-12 mm long and is most active when the water temperature is very cold like it is now.  Finding them in our rivers is also a good indicator that the water quality is high since it’s one of the most sensitive of all aquatic macroinvertebrates living in our waters.

So if you enjoy being outdoors and don’t mind braving the cold you might be interested in joining the CRWC staff and volunteers at 9:00 am on Saturday, January 20th for their annual Winter Stonefly Search.  From there, volunteers will split into teams and travel up to 15 sampling locations throughout the watershed, including Riverside Park in Auburn Hills.  Once teams have finished their site research, all will meet back at the office for pizza, snacks and hot beverages.

Everyone is welcome to join the search.  The CRWC will have a few extra pairs of waders on hand for those who choose to get in the water – or participants can bring their own.  The search goes on regardless of the weather so dress warmly.  Registration is required by January 18th.  Please contact the CRWC’s office at 248-601-0606 or e-mail registration@crwc.org to register or for additional information.

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.

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!

DNR Fisheries Continues To Deliver

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

Back on April 21, 1980, the DNR Fisheries Division began stocking the Clinton River in Downtown Auburn Hills.  They delivered 2,110 smallmouth bass to the stretch of the Clinton River that flows through Riverside Park that first year.

We’re pleased to announce that the 37-year tradition continues.  Yesterday the DNR released 2,400 brown trout into the river – making it a total of 512,113 fish released over the life of this program.  The species stocked the first year included pike and smallmouth bass before switching to the more familiar rainbow trout and brown trout in the years that followed.

The purpose of the DNR’s annual stocking program, which is funded through fishing license fees, is to help support your local urban fishery. This is similar to the program the City created in partnership with DNR Fisheries, the Clinton River Watershed Council and the four chapters of Trout Unlimited (Challenge, Clinton Valley, Paul H. Young, and Vanguard).

The increase in angling hours on the Clinton River in Downtown Auburn Hills is one factor the DNR uses in determining the release site, something the City is proud to see grow in popularity over the years. We look forward to seeing the many anglers in the area explore and enjoy one of our region’s greatest natural resources – the Clinton River.

In Search Of….

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

The Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC) is looking for volunteer field researchers to help search for a rare macroinvertebrate called the Stonefly Nymph.  This creature measures about 7-12 mm long and is most active and easily found in January when the water temperature is very cold.

river-photo

Finding a Stonefly in your local river or stream is a good indicator that the water quality is high and finding one in the Clinton River will go a long way in helping to dispel the myth that it is still polluted.

If you enjoy being outdoors in winter and would like to search for these telling macroinvertebrates, you can join the CRWC staff at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 21st for their annual Winter Stonefly Search.

Staff and volunteers will meet at the CRWC office at 1115 W. Avon Road in Rochester Hills.  From there, the group will split into teams and travel to 15 different sampling locations throughout the watershed, including Riverside Park in Auburn Hills.  Once teams have finished their site research, all will meet back at the office for pizza, snacks and hot beverages.

stonefly

Everyone is welcome to join the search.  Participants can bring their own waders but the CRWC will have a few extra pairs on hand for those who choose to get in the water.  The search goes on regardless of the weather so dress warmly.

new-map

Registration is required by January 12th.  Please contact the CRWC office at (248) 601-0606 or e-mail registration@crwc.org to register or for additional information.