About the Huron River Watershed Council

Footbridge at Pickerel Lake by Marc Akemann
Footbridge at Pickerel Lake by Marc Akemann

Founded in 1965, the Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC) is southeast Michigan’s oldest environmental organization dedicated to river protection. The Huron River Watershed Council protects and restores the river for healthy and vibrant communities.

HRWC  is a nonprofit coalition of residents, businesses, and local governments. HRWC bridges political boundaries by building partnerships between and among communities, community leaders, residents, and commercial enterprises. HRWC monitors the Huron River, its tributaries, lakes, and groundwater, and leads programs on pollution prevention and abatement, wetland and floodplain protection, public education, and natural resource and land-use planning.

Since we were formed, the HRWC has served as a place where local units of government and citizens have discussed problems and sought solutions to critical issues affecting the River. Even though the HRWC has no enforcement powers, we have accomplished our goals through the use of technical data, factual information, and citizen stewardship to influence decisions made by various local and state agencies.

The Huron River Watershed Council  is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Where is the Huron River watershed located?

In southeastern Michigan, the Huron River Watershed spans a land area of more than 900 square miles and drains water to the Huron River through hundreds of tributary creeks and streams. The river itself flows more than 125 miles from its headwaters at Big Lake, near Pontiac, to its mouth at Lake Erie. The river’s drainage area includes seven Michigan counties (Oakland, Livingston, Ingham, Jackson, Washtenaw, Wayne, Monroe), 63 municipal governments, and 650,000 residents. Check out our maps for more details.

What does the Huron River Watershed Council do?

Mission Statement: HRWC’s mission is to protect and restore the river for healthy and vibrant communities.

Vision: We envision a future of clean and plentiful water for people and nature where citizens and government are effective and courageous champions for the Huron River and its watershed.

Core Values: To achieve this, we do the following:

  • Work with a collaborative and inclusive spirit to give all partners the opportunity to become stewards;
  • Generate science-based, trustworthy information for decision makers to ensure reliable supplies of clean water and resilient natural systems; and
  • Passionately advocate for the health of the river and the lands around it.

Check out our programs and projects here

HRWC 5-Year Strategic Plan:

Our plan for advancing HRWC’s mission through five goals, objectives and strategies is presented in this new 5-year strategic plan.

  1. Engagement and Relationships – Engage a diverse and inclusive group of partners and establish relationships to advance programs and polices
  2. Science – Collect and use scientific information to gauge the health of the watershed, direct programmatic priorities, and advance protection and restoration efforts
  3. Advocacy and Implementation – Set our watershed agenda and advance policies and projects at all levels of governments and with a range of partners
  4. Communications – Raise awareness of the river and watershed while advancing our program goals
  5. Fundraising and Organization Foundation – Develop strong relationships and systems to secure resources that accomplish HRWC’s core mission

Types of Activities in which HRWC engages:

  • Monitoring streams: HRWC has developed the premiere citizen-monitoring network in the State. Our strong quality assurance and quality control mechanisms allow agencies to confidently use this data to direct water protection programs.
  • Educating the public: HRWC has an award-winning mass media campaign aimed at changing behaviors to keep our water safe and clean.
  • Reducing pollution: HRWC’s work on phosphorus pollution produced numerous ordinances to protect natural areas, provide stronger protection of wetlands, and to reduce conversion of land and natural habitat to pavement and buildings.
  • Assisting communities: HRWC’s science and policy experts respond daily to residents and government representatives to help them manage development in ways that protect creeks, wildlife, and natural features.
  • Protecting drinking water: HRWC has written an award-winning guidebook that communities throughout Michigan are using to develop drinking water protection plans.

To learn more about what we do, check out our programs.

More about our Privacy Policy (for Donors):

Huron River Watershed Council’s (HRWC) Commitment to Donors

We will not sell, share or trade our donors’ names or personal information with any other entity, nor send mailings to our donors on behalf of other organizations.

This policy applies to all information received by HRWC both online and offline, on any Platform (“Platform”, includes HRWC’s website and mobile applications), as well as any electronic, written, or oral communications.

To the extent any donations are processed through a third-party service provider, our donors’ information will only be used for purposes necessary to process the donation.

We will handle donations with respect and confidentiality and gifts will be used for the purposes they were given.

Go here to donate. Thank you!

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