This month’s News to Us looks back on the recent warm, wet winter weather and its impacts on shoreline communities in Livingston County. Find articles below about volunteer opportunities across the Huron River watershed, including a recap of HRWC’s winter Stonefly Search as well as upcoming stream cleanup and trail maintenance opportunities in Brighton and South Lyon.

A flooded backyard with a white fence
Following January snow melt and rain, many Ore Lake homeowners experienced flooding in their backyards and homes. Photo credit: ClickOnDetroit

Melting snow, rain has residents on edge as property floods in Livingston County
Recent melting snow and heavy rain caused flooding for some Livingston County residents living near the Huron River. Lakefront properties around Ore Lake in Hamburg Township were particularly affected. Residents experienced flood waters that submerged docks and entered crawl spaces. A group of residents is collecting water quantity data to inform management decisions to mitigate the frequent flooding on their properties.

Dedicated volunteers embark on winter stonefly search on the Huron River
Experience what it’s like to be a winter Stonefly Search volunteer with HRWC thanks to this piece from The Sun Times News. At our recent event in January, nearly 100 volunteers visited sites along the Huron River and its tributaries to collect stoneflies. Unfortunately, high water levels prevented us from getting needed data this year. Searching for these tiny river insects helps us track changes in their populations and water quality over time. We use the data to gauge the health of the watershed. Explore the stonefly populations across the Huron River watershed using our new aquatic critters data dashboard.

Ice storms, January downpours, heavy snow, no snow: Diagnosing ‘warming winter syndrome’
As global temperatures rise, regions accustomed to snowy winters are experiencing more rain and ice storms.  The shifting freezing line between snow and rain leads to unexpected ice storms, impacting road conditions and power lines. Midwest winter precipitation is additionally influenced by the Great Lakes. More water evaporates into the atmosphere without the consistent winter freezing of the lakes which leads to more precipitation across the region.

Huron River clean up planned in South Lyon
This spring, volunteers will gather in South Lyon to celebrate Earth Day with a watershed cleanup. The event, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, is planned for Sunday, April 21st at the Seamless Tube and Pipe Company Truck parking lot in South Lyon. Volunteers will collect trash and other debris along Davis Creek, which is a tributary to the Huron River. 57 square miles of surrounding land makes up the Davis Creekshed. Explore the article from WHMI for more information about the event.

Land conservancy group gets grant for nature preserve restoration, trail improvement
A new grant received by the Livingston Land Conservancy  will support habitat restoration and trail development efforts in the Charles and Albert Parker Families Nature Preserve near the Brighton District Library. The funding from the Community Foundation for Livingston County will also enhance outdoor education opportunities thanks to the planned installation of interpretive signage describing natural features and native species found throughout the preserve. Email the Livingston Land Conservancy to get involved with upcoming invasive plant removal and trail maintenance at the preserve.