Commitment To Clean Waters Continues

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

Not many people would spend the first day of fall – especially a sunny, 90-degree day – walking the banks of the Clinton River to search out and remove trash from the area.  But on the morning of September 23rd, a group of eight dedicated individuals did just that.

The volunteers met at River Woods Park and spent two hours collecting a wide variety of trash and debris from the river and its banks.  They worked through the morning and removed eight bags of garbage, one shopping cart, a traffic cone, and a six-foot-long 2” x 6” plank of wood caught in a logjam.

Extra effort was required to find debris because not much had washed up on shore due to fewer bank-full storm events during the spring and summer. There is one thing for sure – their efforts benefit the entire community and goes a long way in maintaining the beauty of our three parks; River Woods, Riverside, and the Skate Park.

I’m sure the deer that stopped by for a morning snack of crabapples appreciated the efforts made that morning too.

Jimmy John’s (located on Baldwin Road), stopped by to provide all the volunteers with a free lunch.  They went all out by bringing four different types of subs and chips and an assortment of pop and water for everyone.

The City of Auburn Hills would like to send out a special “thank you” to all the volunteers who participated in this clean-up and to Jimmy John’s for supporting their efforts.

To find out more on actions you can take to keep our waters clean; please visit the following websites: www.auburnhills.org/stormwater.phpwww.crwc.orgwww.semcog.org/What-You-Can-Do/To-Protect-Our-Waterways

To report pollution, please call the City of Auburn Hills, Community Development Department at 248-364-6900.

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.

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.

Help Improve The Health Of Your Local Waterways

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

It’s that time of year when volunteers from all around the Clinton River Watershed have converged on the Clinton River and its tributaries for the Clinton River Watershed Council’s annual Clinton River Clean Up.  Over the last 30 years a large number of residents and businesses volunteered their time to improve the health of the river by clearing log jams and removing a wide range of items, with the most interesting being a riding lawn mower.

workers

The most common reason people volunteer their time to this most worthy event is that they want to help preserve and protect our water resources for our generation and future generations.  The good news is that all the past and present efforts are paying off.  What was once one of the most polluted rivers in Michigan is now clean enough to offer residents a wide range of recreational opportunities including fishing and kayaking.

clinton-river-clean-up-ad

So if you’re looking for an opportunity to further this effort to improve the health and recreational opportunities of the Clinton River, Auburn Hills will be hosting a clean-up on Saturday, September 24, from 9:00 am to noon at River Woods Park.  Volunteers are advised to wear work clothes and sturdy shoes, as well as a pair of gloves, if you have them.

For additional information please contact Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner by phone at 248-364-6926 or by e-mail at skeenan@auburnhills.org.  Advanced notice of participation is appreciated but not required.

If you’re interested in hosting or organizing your own clean-up site, please visit the Clinton River Watershed Council’s website at www.crwc.org.

Avondale Students Monitor Water Quality, Find Good News

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

On May 24, 2016, over 200 students from Avondale High School headed out to Riverside Park to assess the health of the Clinton River.  These students, guided by their teachers, parents, volunteer mentors from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the City of Auburn Hills conducted water quality tests and scientific surveys to determine the overall water quality of the river.

kids in river

For over 14 years, students have been monitoring the health of the river through the Clinton River Watershed Council’s ‘Stream Leaders’ Program.  In addition to collecting stream habitat and chemical data, students geared-up and collected an assortment of macroinvertebrates from the river to identify and count.

fish

The students were simply amazed at the aquatic life they found which included caddisfly larvae, mayfly nymphs, dragonfly nymphs, damselfly nymphs, scuds, crayfish, midges and aquatic worms.  These species are some of the most pollution-sensitive; their presence indicates good quality water.

kids

There is little doubt that the overall health of the Clinton River has improved throughout the years.  Recent data indicates that this section of the Clinton River is close to a rating of ‘excellent’. For more information on how you can protect water quality, please visit www.auburnhills.org/stormwater.  To learn more about the Clinton River Water Council’s ‘Stream Leaders’ program, please visit www.clintonriver.org.

FCA Motor Citizens Recognized for Stewardship Efforts

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Assistant City Planner

The City of Auburn Hills would like to congratulate FCA Motor Citizens, a volunteer corps assembled by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, for receiving the Clinton River Watershed Council’s 2015 Jerry Carvey Volunteer of the Year Award.

FCA Motor Citizens were presented with the Award for their longtime support and stewardship efforts in keeping our waterways clean.  The great majority of their efforts were achieved through their participation in CRWC stewardship programs, such as Weekly Clean, Clinton Cleanup, and woody debris removal events.

Left: Anne M. Vaara, Executive Director, Clinton River Watershed Council Middle: Daphne Harris, FCA, Manager Civic & Community Relations at Chrysler Right: Susan Kelsey, President, CRWC BOD

From left, Anne M. Vaara, Executive Director, Clinton River Watershed Council; Daphne Harris, FCA, Manager Civic & Community Relations at Chrysler; Susan Kelsey, President, CRWC BOD

FCA Motor Citizens provides dozens of volunteers to these stewardship efforts each year which equates to hundreds of hours spent cleaning up trash and other debris from the Clinton River, its watershed and Lake St. Clair.  The time that FCA Motor Citizens continues to provide CRWC and the community in the form of positive and hardworking volunteers, shows their commitment to protecting our waterways for all to enjoy.

The Jerry Carvey Volunteer of the Year Award was created to recognize individuals for their extraordinary commitment of time, talents and resources to fostering improvement and protection of the Clinton River, its watershed, and Lake St. Clair.

Click the links to learn about volunteer opportunities in and around the Clinton River Watershed and the City of Auburn Hills’ Keep it Clean program.