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Watershed Management

Watershed management: where watershed science meets watershed policy. HRWC engages in a number of projects to utilize data on the health of the watershed and its component parts to focus on key stressors and develop and then implement management plans to address problems.

Current programs and project are listed first. Scroll down to see past programs and projects.

Current Projects and Programs

Bioreserve The Bioreserve Project assesses and protects the remaining natural areas in the watershed.  Volunteers collect data during field studies of private and public properties; HRWC uses the data to work with local communities, conservancies, and natural area property landowners to protect and restore natural areas.
Climate-Resilient Communities HRWC is bringing together our community partners up and down the river to examine the topic of a changing climate and how communities in the watershed, and Michigan, can maintain quality of life under projected scenarios. GLISA and River Network are partners.
Dams and Impoundments HRWC is looking at all 100 dams across the watershed. HRWC has endeavored to learn more about the systematic problems caused by an entire watershed of dams, as well the individuals problems caused by specific dams. HRWC desires to work with all communities, dam owners, and dam operators in improving the functionality of their dams and potentially in removing the dams altogether.
Green Instrustructure HRWC encourages green infrastructure across the spectrum from landscape to site scale and is working with municipalities to plan for Green Infrastructure across their jurisdictions that can then be implemented on a neighborhood or site scale.
Huron River Water Trail HRWC is facilitating development of a water trail that creates linkages from city to village; improves recreational access to the river; adds interpretive, way-finding, and historical signage; and creates economic development opportunities. Our aim is to reconnect communities in Oakland, Livingston, Washtenaw, Monroe, and Wayne Counties to the Huron River.
Land Use Planning Land use planning is not a specific program, but all of HRWC’s programs continually address this issue. It is necessary because every activity that takes place on the land in the Huron watershed affects the health of the Huron River, its tributaries, and wetlands.
Livingston Watershed Advisory Group (WAG): A collaborative membership group that was originally formed to develop watershed management plans for the Huron Chain of Lakes and Upper Shiawassee River watersheds in Livingston County. The WAG now works to implement activities in those plans to reduce pollutants and preserve the high quality waterbodies in the area. Activities include monitoring and improving plans for Brighton Lake and the Chain of Lakes.
Lower Huron Initiative HRWC works with partners in the lower section of the watershed (below Belleville Lake) to develop and implement management plans and activities to reduce pollutants and improve the quality of waterbodies in the area. HRWC is collaborating with neighboring watersheds through the Alliance of Downriver Watersheds.
Middle Huron Initiative A collaborative group of municipal agencies that work to reduce the impacts from stormwater runoff in the middle section of the watershed. Current activities include monitoring and work to improve plans to address state-listed impairments.
Middle Huron Stormwater Advisory Group A collaborative group of municipal agencies that work to reduce the impacts from stormwater runoff in the middle section of the watershed. Current activities include monitoring and work to improve plans to address state-listed impairments.
Norton Crek Watershed Plan We are creating a watershed plan that will serve as a blueprint for restoring and protecting Norton Creek for local governments, businesses, and communities.
Restoring River Flows HRWC works on several projects and topic areas that share the common goal of working to mitigate the regulation of river flows that results from human changes to the land and waters such as impervious surfaces, stormwater, drains and tiles, and dams and impoundments.
RiverUp! HRWC partners with business and community leaders on this initiative meant to spark a river renaissance by investing in river recreation, local economic development, and improving the ecological health of the river.
Swift Run: Growing Green HRWC is assessing the health of the Swift Run creek and then bringing “grow green” techniques to parks, streets, and residential properties in partnership with residents, the City of Ann Arbor, and Washtenaw County. The project will end with another assessment of the creek to determine project impacts.
Upper Huron Initiative HRWC works with partners in the upper section of the watershed (above Washtenaw County) to develop and implement management plans and activities to reduce pollutants and improve the quality of waterbodies in the area.

Retired Projects and Programs

Brighton Lake Planning HRWC facilitated the development of a watershed management plan for this Livingston County watershed from 2000 to 2002, and worked with partners to implement some of the priority activities.
Chain of Lakes  Planning HRWC facilitated the development of a watershed management plan for this watershed from 2003 to 2005, and worked with partners to implement some of the priority activities. Implementation of the plan continues through the Livingston Watershed Advisory Group.
Failing Septics Identification From 2010-2013, HRWC and a team of researchers and public health managers pursued an innovative approach to detect failed septic systems in order to reduce pollutants entering the Huron River and yield a cost-effective approach for county health departments to monitor and rectify problem septic systems.
Green Infrastructure In 2013, HRWC held Growing Green Infrastructure Meetings with our partners throughout the county to collectively discover ways around barriers to GI implementation.
Honey Creek The goal of this project was to collect information and develop a Watershed Management Plan to foster activities that will reduce the quantity of bacteria entering Honey Creek and eventually meet water quality standards.
Kent Lake Planning HRWC facilitated the development of a watershed management plan for this Oakland County watershed from 2000 to 2002, and worked with partners to implement priority activities such as two stormwater best management practice retrofits.
Mill Creek Stabilization 2012. HRWC worked with local partners on a stream bank stabilization project on Mill Creek.
Portage Creek Watershed Management  HRWC facilitated the development of a watershed management plan for this high-quality watershed in 2010. With funding under the Clean Water Act (lasting from 2012 to 2014), HRWC partnered with the townships in the watershed to implement ordinance changes to protect the creek and launched an education campaign for residents of the creekshed about the importance of maintaining natural vegetation along creek banks and lake shores.
Saving Water Saves Energy From 2011-2014, in an effort to begin both mitigating and adapting to climate change the Masco Corporation Foundation and HRWC led a project to develop and disseminate a home “Saving Water Saves Energy” campaign and toolkit for distribution to households in Southeast Michigan and business partners, as well as watershed organizations across the country.



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