Posts Tagged ‘huron river’
HRWC staff picks of favorite watershed spots, celebrating 50 years of river protection and restoration work.
Yep, its practically in my own backyard. Can’t help it, this is where I routinely go to connect with the Huron — Ann Arbor’s Barton Nature Area. Up on top of Barton Dam, along the earthen embankment on the City side there’s
a path for walking and plenty of grass and a park bench for sitting. It’s up here that my husband spotted a bald eagle catching fish one weekday morning in May — especially enviable because I am the known bird of prey fanatic in our family. When I visit this spot, I am always gratefully reminded that this is the source of my drinking water. There’s usually a cool breeze and always someone fishing off the boat launch and on days when the gates are wide open, the loud rushing sound of water flowing through the dam.
HRWC is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year!
Tell us your favorite watershed spot HERE.
Appreciate the River, Sunday July 12, by joining HRWC for some fun or heading to YOUR favorite spot with friends.
There is no wi-fi on the river but we promise you a better connection!
Saturday, May 16, 8 AM
Paddling Bird Watch, Bruin Lake Chain
Join Dea Armstrong and HRWC staff on the first HRWC Summer Recreation paddle of the year. This birding-focused paddle will be guided by expert paddlers Barry Lonik and Ron Sell. If you need a canoe or kayak Hell’s Canoe and Kayak Rental is donating boats. Please let us know if you need a boat.
Experience the quiet waters of the Huron River with expert paddlers Ron Sell, Barry Lonik, and the HRWC staff. The trip includes discussion regarding the river’s water ecology, history, and unique features. In addition to watercraft, bring your own gear, food, drinking water, binoculars, and appropriate clothing for the weather. Every paddler must wear a flotation device – bring your own.
To register, please fill out this form.
For a Paddler’s Safety Checklist click HERE.
All paddlers must register in advance.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Ask the Experts” at the Home, Garden & Lifestyle Show, March 20-22
Rain gardens are beautiful landscaping features that capture, hold and soak in runoff from storms. They are specifically designed for areas where rain water habitually pools or to which it is deliberately channeled. Their loose, deep soils and deep-rooted native plants absorb water and filter pollutants.
Get information and advice from local experts Drew Lathin of Creating Sustainable Landscapes (Sat 10am-7pm) and Susan Bryan (Sun 1:30-3:30pm) of the Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner’s Rain Garden Design Program. They’ll be on hand at the HRWC-WCWRC booth to share some “deep-rooted” know-how including tips on site and plant selection, garden layout, installation, and maintenance.
Home, Garden & Lifestyle Show
Fri, March 20, 2-8pm;
Sat, March 21, 10am-7pm;
Sun, March 22, 11am-5pm
Building E, Booth 169
Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds
5055 Ann Arbor-Saline Road
Admission is $5, children ages 12 and under are admitted for free.
For FREE tickets, HRWC members can contact Pam Labadie, email@example.com, (734)769-5123 x 602.
Rain Gardens are low maintenance, drought tolerant and environmentally friendly. They beautify your property and your neighborhood. They help keep water away from your home’s foundation. They can be designed as a manicured formal garden or you can create a more natural look. You can choose plants that purposely attract butterflies and other wildlife.
Make this the summer you commit to protecting water quality with a rain garden in your yard!
The Making of Mill Creek Park in Dexter.
A look at the second of three short films produced by the Huron River Watershed Council . . .
“The Making of Mill Creek Park” features the restoration of Mill Creek and the dam removal in Dexter that transformed it from a stagnant pond into a free-flowing stream. Community leaders like Paul Cousins and Allison Bishop, Jolly Pumpkin’s Ron Jeffries, and a local family share the story of a revitalized waterfront that helps makes the Dexter community a great place to live, work and play.
7 Cylinders Studio of Ann Arbor worked with HRWC over the summer producing “The Making of Mill Creek Park” to share the vision of RiverUp!, a plan for the Huron River’s future. RiverUp! is a strategy to realize the goal of a vibrant, robust, and restored river as a destination for residents, visitors, and businesses. Other films in the RiverUp! series include the story of fly fishing in Ypsilanti and the creation of the Huron River Water Trail.
HRWC leads RiverUp! in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Office, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters, and the Wolfpack, a group of 75 business and community leaders and organizations.
Wait, what? The Clean Water Act doesn’t protect clean water? How can that be?
Well in 2001 and 2006 there were 2 Supreme Court Decisions that confused the implementation of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and placed many wetlands and streams out of protection and at risk.
Earlier this year, the U.S. EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers released a very important draft rulemaking. This draft rule clarifies which waters are protected under the Clean Water Act. This rulemaking will fundamentally influence our work to protect or restore our watershed.
Please comment on the draft US EPA rule on Clean Water Protection (aka Waters of the US) Rulemaking
Comments on this important rulemaking are due October 20, 2014. We encourage river lovers (YOU) to speak up! If you haven’t been following this issue or need a refresher, please check out this link.
Your comments can be as simple as, “Clean water is important to me. I want EPA to protect it for my health, my family, and my community” or as specific as, “I support the agencies proposal to define “waters of the United States” in section (a) of the proposed rule for all sections of the CWA to mean: Traditional navigable waters; interstate waters, including interstate wetlands; the territorial seas; impoundments of traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, including interstate wetlands, the territorial seas, and tributaries, as defined, of such waters; tributaries, as defined, of traditional navigable waters, interstate waters, or the territorial seas; and adjacent waters, including adjacent wetlands. Waters in these categories would be jurisdictional “waters of the United States” by rule—no additional analysis would be required.”
While doing a habitat assessment on the Huron River, I was lucky enough to see a pocketbook mussel in the process of attracting a fish host and managed to get some pictures and a video of it.
Please excuse the poor video quality- it looks like a bubble got trapped on our underwater camera lens! But you can make it out. The mussel is buried in the sediment, positioned so that its opening is facing up. The mussel is extending a part of its mantle into the current to use it in its reproduction process.
Mussels reproduce by releasing their glochidia (microscopic larvae) in the presence of fish. The glochidia latch onto the fish’s gills and fins where they dwell for days or weeks, depending on the species and water conditions. During this time the glochidia develop into microscopic juveniles and eventually drop off the fish. If they land in a suitable place, they can create a new mussel bed.
Therefore, since fish are integral to a mussel’s life cycle, the mussels have developed ways to get a fish’s attention. By extending the colorful mantel into the current, the mussel acts like an angler’s fish lure! When a fish gets closer- the mussel shoots out the glochidia!
Special acknowledgments go to Ryan and Marty of ECT, for experiencing this really cool find with me.