There are six articles that are “news to us” this May. Huron River watershed news stories cover a recent creek cleanup in South Lyon, new accessible trails at Oakwoods Metropark, and progress towards the removal of Peninsular Dam in Ypsilanti. State and regional news cover reflections on the lasting impact of the Flint water crisis and record spring Great Lakes water temperatures.

How walleye, smallmouth bass and endangered mussels could benefit from Peninsular Dam removal
The removal of Peninsular Paper Dam in Ypsilanti would reconnect over 3 miles of the Huron River and open up new habitat for aquatic species, including fish as well as threatened and endangered mussels. This article from MLive discusses the ecological benefits mussels provide to river ecosystems and how dam removal can support the restoration of endangered species. A mussel survey of the Huron River downstream of Peninsular Dam led by HRWC will begin in June. For a full status update on the Peninsular Paper Dam removal, read a recent blog from HRWC’s Dan Brown.

Ten years after the Flint water crisis, distrust and anger linger
A decade after the water crisis, residents of Flint, Michigan still feel the ripple effects of the crisis in their community and day-to-day lives. This article from ProPublica explores how the Flint water crisis has impacted the long-term health and well-being of the Flint residents in the 10 years since it made national news. Despite lead service line replacements, at-home filtration investments, and switching back to the City of Detroit’s drinking water, public distrust and apprehension are still high among residents.

Five people stand along a paved paths with yellow and orange safety vests and trash bags.
Residents and elected officials, including South Lyon City Councilman Alex Hansen, Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, Representative Jason Morgan, and South Lyon Mayor Steve Kennedy, collect trash at the 20th annual Davis Creek cleanup in South Lyon. Photo credit: Suzann Martin

South Lyon Area Creek Cleanup yields more garbage than ever. Here’s what was found
The 20th annual South Lyon Area Creek Cleanup over Earth Day weekend was a success, with over 140 participating volunteers and over 25 yards of trash collected. During the event, city residents, elected officials, students, and civic groups combed Davis Creek in Oakland County for trash and debris. Volunteers discovered sofas, televisions, car seats, tires, car parts, bikes, and numerous cans and bottles in the creek. Learn more about how to conduct your own river clean up!

State officials announce $290M MI Clean Water Plan expansion
In late April, state officials announced the expansion of the MI Clean Water Plan, a program that supports improvements to water, stormwater, and wastewater facilities across Michigan. Funding and financing available through the MI Clean Water Plan provides resources for water infrastructure projects such as lead service line replacement, sewer system improvements, and upgrades to wastewater and drinking water treatment plants.

Improved and accessible nature trails now open at Oakwoods Metropark
Oakwoods Metropark along the Huron River in Wayne County is now home to a new accessible hiking path and renovated Nature Center. Over $400,000 in funding from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and the Ralph C. Wilson Foundation supported updates to Oakwoods Metropark’s parking lot, paved walkways, and trail surfaces to increase the accessibility of the park’s amenities. The renovations also include new picnic tables, drinking stations, benches, and accessible educational signage.

Great Lakes water temperatures running near all-time highs
Following the second-warmest winter on record, the Great Lakes are experiencing near-record or record warm temperatures for May. For most of the Great Lakes, record lake temperatures were last reached in May 2012 following above average spring weather. Most current Great Lakes surface water temperatures are close to breaking that previous record, with temperatures in Lake Michigan and Lake Erie actually exceeding the 2012 record earlier this month. Visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Surface Environmental Analysis to dive deeper into the lake temperature data.