HRWC’s Paul Steen teaches a group of MiCorps leaders on aquatic macroinvertebrate collection methods.

The Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) is a state program that trains and uses volunteers to collect ecological information from streams and lakes. In 2004, at the onset of the program, the State of Michigan picked HRWC to lead MiCorps, acknowledging our reputation of excellence in the field of volunteer monitoring. HRWC partners with the Great Lakes Commission to train groups and individuals, develop resources on volunteer monitoring, distribute state grants, and host the collected data on a publically available website (

In 2009, HRWC and the Great Lakes Commission distributed $50,000 in state grants to stream groups and trained them in same techniques that are used by our Adopt-a-Stream program. These groups are scattered across the state,  and include the Clinton River Watershed Council, Superior Watershed Partnership, and Trout Unlimited. Since the beginning of the program we have trained and assisted 22 stream groups.

Through MiCorps, HRWC also works with the Michigan Lakes and Stream Associations to lead a program that uses volunteers to monitor lakes across the state. The volunteers are usually people that live on the lake and have a vested interest in its health. MiCorps volunteers annually monitor more than 200 lakes across the state in parameters like phosphorus, transparency, and chlorophyll.