Monthly update image Check out these new opportunities to protect the Huron River and clean water.

Sign the Petition

Polluters should pay for cleanup, not taxpayers!

Michigan was once a national leader in holding polluters accountable for the cost of cleaning up contaminated sites. Thanks to “Polluter Pay” legislation in 1990, Michigan taxpayers saved over $100 million in cleanup costs – instead, polluters were required to pay. But since the law was repealed in 1995, Michigan’s number of contaminated sites has increased – and the cost of cleaning up this contamination falls on us.

With over 24,000 contaminated sites in Michigan, we need to take action and that starts with holding polluters accountable for cleaning up the messes they made.

Add your name to Michigan League of Conservation Voters’ petition urging our lawmakers in Lansing to reintroduce legislation that will hold corporate polluters responsible for footing the bill for cleaning up toxic contamination. 

Washtenaw County Change Makers

In 2019 the county declared a Climate Emergency that “threatens the county, region, state, nation, civilization, humanity and the natural world”. The declaration commits the county to an emergency mobilization effort to “end greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and not later than 2035”.

As a result, Washtenaw became the first county in Michigan to pass a county-wide (meaning all the residents, households, and businesses located in the county) Climate Action Plan. While that is great news, and the county deserves much praise, it has been years since plan passage, and we are still waiting for implementation actions.

The Board of commissioners meets the first and third Wednesdays every month.  There is a Working Session 5:30 – 6:30pm and a regular Board meeting 7 – 8pm.

Here are sample comments you can use:

I encourage you to fund the well-crafted county climate plan and get it staffed up.  So many communities are stepping up to address the climate crisis:  the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Pittsfield Township, Scio Township, Ann Arbor Township, and many more.  It would be a serious omission to not have the County climate plan funded and staffed especially in light of the State and Federal climate priorities and funding.

Thank you for your good work on behalf of Washtenaw County residents, it is appreciated.

Both meetings allow public comment at the beginning of the meeting. You can attend in-person at the County Administration Building at 220 N. Main St. in Ann Arbor or virtually via Zoom:

Working session:
Public comment limited to one minute.

BOC meeting:
Public comment limited to three minutes.

Instructions for public comment for virtual attendees:

To email all the commissioners:

To submit with an online form:

Urge Michigan Senators to Support Strong Climate and Clean Energy Bills

Several Michigan legislators have introduced a suite of bills referred to collectively as the Clean Energy Future Plan. The bills support an ambitious transition away from fossil fuels putting Michigan on a path to achieving 100% clean energy by 2035.

However, they have stalled due to lobbying pressure from utilities, who want to take more time and do less to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

No doubt you have read many times about the impact of climate change on the watershed’s streams, fish, bird migration paths, flooding and storm intensities, summer heat waves, and winter snow. We need quick action. Our river depends on it. Our families depend on it. Our neighbors depend on it. Michigan has an opportunity to lead the country in climate action.

HRWC understands the importance of ambitious climate solutions to our mission. That is why we participated in the development of the MI Healthy Climate Plan and are pushing for bold action as the state carries it out.

Take Action

with Michigan Environmental Council’s web tool (HRWC is a member).

Represent your community on HRWC’s board

Calling all Change Makers from Wayne County, Barton Hills, Belleville, Brighton, Rockwood, Walled Lake, Wixom, Wolverine Lake, or Genoa, Van Buren, or White Lake townships. You can represent your community on HRWC’s Board of Directors and help advance our mission!

The “Council” part of HRWC is made up of local governments that have land within the watershed and are members of HRWC. Each local government gets a representative who is appointed by their local government. These representatives attend quarterly board meetings, annual meetings, and otherwise act as a liaison between their municipality and HRWC.

HRWC provides water resource information and research services to member governments. We can help with water quality issues, land use, groundwater, hydrology, lake management, wetland protection, stormwater management and other related topics. HRWC staff also review and comment on activities likely to affect water resources and advise member governments on lake and river management.

Contact our Executive Director, Rebecca Esselman, at (734) 769-5123 or email her to inquire about how to become a board member.

Are YOU ready for renewables?

The Inflation Reduction Act instituted a host of financial incentives including tax credits, discounts and rebates for home and vehicle updates for the green energy transition. The White House’s Clean Energy for All website offers a clear, straightforward guide on what’s available if you want to install rooftop solar, make your home and appliances more energy efficient, replace your air conditioner or furnace, or buy an electric vehicle. Rewiring America has a very easy-to-use Calculator you can use to find out what discounts, rebates, or tax credits your household can get based household income and zip code. Here’s what it told me:

An assignment for all Change Makers!

As you all know, local governments are required to update their master plans every five (5) years. Some time ago, we created this spreadsheet that lists every local government, the date of their current plan, and the date they should start (or should have started) revising and updating it.

Please take a look at the spreadsheet, find your community’s master plan, and email me, Kris, any needed updates you identify.

Thank you!

Kris and Jason

Change Makers provide a voice for the Huron River and its watershed by becoming involved in their local governments to encourage water protection.