You just have to be there for this Huron River-inspired, beautifully crafted, and uplifting canon of river songs, poems and images, featuring river lovers and performers: Chris Good, Kate Peterson, Magdalen Fossum, Billy Kirst, Kyle Rhodes and Panoka Walker. Special appearances by Carnegie Hall soloist and UM Professor Evan Chambers, along with The Chenille Sisters‘ exquisite harmonies. WEMU’s news director David Fair will be our emcee for this big, fun, once in a lifetime celebration of HRWC. Expect the unexpected, but we won’t tell you what, because we want to keep some surprises until showtime. You’ll just have to buy a ticket to find out.
Purchase Tickets Tickets are $15 general admission and $25 reserved seating, doors open 12:30pm
Announcement: We want to capture your appreciation and care of the Huron River for HRWC’s 50th anniversary celebration. It would be great if you would share your favorite spots, photographs and memories with us on social media. You can find us on Facebook (@huronriver), Instagram (@huronriver), and on Twitter (@hrwc). Please use the hashtag “#huronriver50.”
Thanks to our Sponsors: Ann Arbor State Bank, LENA and Ann Arbor Area Convention and Vistor’s Bureau, Axe & Ecklund,P.C. and Municipal Financial Consultants, Inc.
HRWC’s work has been highlighted in some news recently covering volunteer stream monitoring and the significance of water to Michigan’s economy. In national news, FEMA now requires climate change be considered when planning for natural disasters. Finally, a fun interactive piece allows you to calculate the water footprint of your favorite meals.
Volunteers in forefront of monitoring Great Lakes streams
HRWC leads the statewide Michigan Clean Water Corps program which provides training and funding to groups throughout the state that want to use volunteers to monitor the condition of our rivers and streams. The program has supported volunteer monitoring efforts at more than 800 sites in Michigan and all of the data is shared publicly online. Learn about similar programs in other Great Lakes states as well.
Include Climate Change in Disaster Planning, FEMA Says States and local governments are required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to have a current Hazard Mitigation Plan. These plans help communities understand risks and vulnerabilities associated with disasters such as flooding or oil spills. FEMA recently announced that revisions to these plans (which occur every 3-5 years) must take into account climate change; a requirement that will help us be better prepared for more extreme weather events.
New report highlights broad impact of water on Michigan’s economy At least one in five jobs in Michigan is tied to water? Yes, according to a new report on the importance of our water to the State’s economy. HRWC’s RiverUp! program is highlighted in the report as one of Michigan’s “Blue Places” where communities are embracing rivers and lakes as amenities contributing to local economies and quality of life.
832 gallons of water were used to make this plate By all accounts, the current drought in California is one of the most severe on record. And the impacts stand to affect us all. There are many thought provoking articles, infographics and images fueling an ongoing discussion about water use and how we can be more thoughtful about our water consumption. This interactive feature calculates the amount of water it takes to produce a plate of food. Put together your favorite meal or the dinner you have planned for tonight and see what the water footprint is. Try finding meals with lower water inputs. We can all do our part to alleviate the demands on our finite water resources.
Want to Get Outdoors and Help the Huron River?
Lena to Donate Percent of Brunch Proceeds to Huron River Watershed Council
Event Date: Sunday, April 26, 2015
Join Lena and the Huron River Watershed Council in their vision of a future with clean and plentiful water for people and nature, where citizens like you are effective and courageous champions for the Huron River.
To help celebrate HRWC’s 50th Anniversary, bring your friends and family for Sunday brunch at Lena on April 26. Lena will contribute 15% of the proceeds from brunch to the Huron River Watershed Council. Afterwards, join HRWC at The Ark for Rivering, a celebration of the river and HRWC’s 50th anniversary. Brunch is served from 10am-2pm and the full menu can be viewed online at lena-annarbor.com.
Lena is also partnering with the Huron River Watershed Council to promote membership in HRWC during the month of April. Lena invites you to join them in supporting HRWC’s mission to protect and restore the river for healthy and vibrant communities.
You can include a membership while paying your bill in one simple transaction – just ask your server for details next time you are at Lena.
Located in the landmark building on the corner of S. Main and Liberty in downtown Ann Arbor, Lena features modern food of the Americas, influenced by Latin culture and cuisine. Lena was voted Top 10 Best New Metro Detroit Restaurants of 2012 by The Detroit Free Press.
Another in an irregular blog series about climate change
Don’t let our chilly winter and (so far) spring this year fool you — this was the warmest yet year on record globally, with 14 of the 15 warmest years on record occurring since 1900. In Alaska, organizers had to move the Iditarod sled race 300 miles north to find snow.
But despite concerted effort to deny the problem away by many of our politicians and decision makers, we are seeing a positive trend in climate awareness and alternative energy markets and technology that are turning even former vice president (and climate change icon) Al Gore into somewhat of an optimist, according to a recent New York Times article. The article lists the soaring investment in wind and solar power, the steep reduction in prices for installing alternative energies for homes, and a recent agreement with China on reducing greenhouse gas emissions as reasons to hope that we can indeed curb the worst effects of climate change.
In addition, recent polls have shown overwhelming support for changing national policies to address climate change.
So, take heart, there is still time to Save the Planet!
Find insects, crayfish and other small river creatures as a part of the River Roundup!
Join a small team with your friends and family for a unique activity and (hopefully) some time in gorgeous spring weather! Collect a sample of the bugs and other creatures that live in our streams. Like canaries in a coal mine, these creatures indicate the health of our creeks and rivers. In healthy places, the amount of life in these fresh water systems is amazing!
All volunteers first meet in Ann Arbor, and then trained volunteer leaders take you to two stream sites, where you help them search through stones, leaves, and sediment. Only trained volunteers go in the water. Dress to be in the field for a couple hours. You must register early to participate.
Children are welcome to attend with an adult.
WHERE: Meet at the HRWC office in Ann Arbor. Then car pool to two streams in Livingston, Oakland, Wayne and/or Washtenaw Counties.
WHEN: Two times: April 18, 2015 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM, or 10:30 AM to 5 PM
DEADLINE: Registration closes on April 15, 2015.
NEXT STEPS: Fill out the registration page for the time and general area that you desire to work in.
MORE INFO: Please email Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTOS and STORY: Get a sense of what this event is like from a HRWC volunteer here.
In the news, the Huron River continues to receive more attention from both local governments and the national government. Also, oil reached the river from a leak at a private residence near Portage Lake. Finally read two stories covering new research, one fueled by data collected by citizens, the other from a University of Michigan researcher on microplastics in the Great Lakes.
Ypsilanti adopts designation of Michigan Trail Town along Huron River Ypsilanti City Council has formally adopted the designation of Huron River “Trail Town”. Ypsilanti is one of five, along with Milford, Dexter, Ann Arbor and Flat Rock, water trail towns along the Huron that are working to maximize the benefits of being situated right on the river. The Huron offers recreation, economic and aesthetic benefits as well as many ecological benefits.
Federal agencies assist in oil leak There was an oil spill on private property in Pinckney last week. Some of that oil ended up in the Huron River. Hazmat teams were called in to contain and clean up the spill.
200 years of citizen science predict the future of forests One family has left quite a legacy. For generations, the descendants of Robert Marsham continued his efforts to capture the timing of leaf out and flowering of many plant species and the appearance of certain animals at their family estate in England. A researcher has used this information to look for trends in the data that may help us understand how natural communities may respond to changing temperatures. Citizen science helps us in many ways here at HRWC. Who knows, maybe one day all of you HRWC volunteer data collectors will be part of a story told from 200 years of data on the Huron River!
National Designation Awarded to Huron River Water Trail The Huron River Water Trail/RiverUp! is the cover story of the Michigan Recreation and Parks Association publication! The recent designation is continuing to get high profile press at the local, state and national level exposing a new audience to the treasure we have right here in southeast Michigan.
UM researcher says microplastics could threaten Great Lakes fish Here at HRWC we keep our eyes and ears open for emerging threats to the river and citizen of the Huron River watershed. Microplastics (microbeads and microfibers) are a somewhat recent addition to our aquatic systems. This article discusses potential impacts of this pollutant coming out of new research from the University of Michigan. Legislation has been introduced at the State to ban products containing microbeads.
Sunday marked the 21st annual World Water Day – a day to reflect on the value of a resource often easy for those of us fortunate enough to be in a water rich environment to take for granted. News media and social networks were abuzz with coverage of this event and the importance of water. Take a moment to browse some of the great coverage out there by searching on #WaterIs in Twitter.
I ran across a simple blog sharing some compelling statistics about freshwater: 36 eye-opening facts about water. The piece is a good reminder of how good we have it, how important water is to protect, and how we all might be better stewards.
Some of the 36 that jumped out at me?
“10. More than one-quarter of all bottled water comes from a municipal water supply – the same place that tap water comes from.” Break the bottled water habit. In our area tap water is clean and safe. Even tasty. In fact, for Ann Arbor water customers, A2 water frequently wins the regional Michigan Water Tasting Competition (yes, this is a thing).
And then there are these; “24. On average, an American resident uses about 100 gallons of water per day. 25. On average, a European resident uses about 50 gallons of water per day. 26. On average, a resident of sub-Saharan Africa uses 2 to 5 gallons of water per day.” Each of us can do better. Small actions can help us achieve more efficient use of water.
For example, “33. It takes 3,962 gallons of water to produce 2.2 pounds of beef.” Eating less meat can dramatically reduce your water footprint. Also, “14. A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water each day.” Simply maintaining our plumbing is another habit we can get into to reduce water use that doesn’t even touch the water you actually use in a day. It just cuts back on the waste.
And finally, “11. Approximately 400 billion gallons of water are used in the United States per day; nearly half of that is used for thermoelectric power generation.” By reducing your energy use, you are conserving water as well (and reducing your carbon footprint too!).
You don’t have to look far to find stories about the devastation caused by water scarcity or the consequences of spreading a finite resource too thin. The extreme drought in the Western United States shows we are not immune to the impacts of a lack of water. So, take a moment to reflect on everything water provides and how you can do your part to tread lightly on this vital resource. And next time you set eyes upon the Huron River let her know how much you appreciate what she does for you.
Ever wonder how best to protect the river and its watershed?
We think about this everyday here at HRWC.
One of the best ways to is to encourage location and design of neighborhoods and businesses to keep excess runoff and pollution out of the river. Each local government (cities, villages, and townships) in the watershed is responsible for reviewing land use development and designs within their own boundaries. That means one of the best ways to help the Huron is to ensure each local government has policies in place that allow residential and commercial development in a way that allows the river and its ecosystems to continue to function.
HRWC has two tools that can help citizens in any of the 63 different local governments in the watershed get involved in their city, village or township planning commission, board, or council.
- The Citizen’s Guide to Land Use Planning (click on link. the Citizens Guide is halfway down the page), takes readers step-by-step through the land use planning process and its importance to water quality.
- As part of a new project, Green Infrastructure Services for Local Governments, funded by the Americana Foundation, HRWC has created two checklists; one for elements recommended in a local government’s Zoning Ordinance, and another for elements recommended for their Master Plan. See how many recommended elements are in your local government’s ordinance and master plan.
HRWC is currently using the checklist in partnership with Webster Township as part of their master plan revision process. HRWC plans to be working with at least two more local governments in the next year as part of this project.
While it may not seem like it today, HRWC’s field season, and thus many volunteer opportunities, are right around the corner. Our first volunteer training (for our Water Quality program) is on March 21. River Roundup and Bioreserve training are sure signs that spring is imminent.
As many of our volunteers and supporters know, most HRWC programs are family friendly. It’s been a delight seeing many of our youth volunteers grow into thoughtful, giving, young professionals. Numerous studies have linked volunteering to being happier and healthier. So why not get your favorite kid involved in the community, especially HRWC? For some tips, see this Points of Light blog on getting kids into volunteering. To see if your youth is a good fit for one of our programs just ask the program lead!
If you’re interested in HRWC’s volunteer programming in general, Jason would love to hear from you: email@example.com.