Silver and Smith creeksheds are located in the lower Huron River watershed. This region was among the first areas in Michigan to be farmed by European settlers who had a monopoly on the land once the Native American were consolidated into reservations and ultimately removed from the area by the early 1840s. As a result of the farming activities, many pieces of Silver and Smith creeksheds were ditched and tiled. Today, humans use the land in a variety of ways, primarily for residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural purposes. There are very few areas of natural land remaining.
Silver and Smith are unique creeksheds in the Huron River watershed. They do not drain to the Huron River itself, but rather drain into the Huron River Estuary that connects directly to Lake Erie. Silver, Smith, and the estuary all meet at a point slightly to the west of the intersection of Streicher and West Jefferson Road. The townships of Huron, Berlin, and Brownstown, and the cities of Flat Rock, Rockwood, and Woodhaven all make decisions that affect these creeks.
Silver and Smith creeks flow through land that was covered by Lake Erie during the last Ice Age. During this time, fine particles of clay and silt covered the land, leaving a thick coat of fine sediment and also quite flat. The resulting landscape left unique ecosystems like flatwood swamps, beech forests, and lake plain prairie. The Sibley prairie in Brownstown Township is Michigan’s largest prairie remnant. The slope of these two creeks is the flattest in the watershed, averaging 4.4 feet per mile over Silver Creek’s 13.2 mile run and 5.0 feet per mile over Smith Creek’s 10.6 mile run. There are many tributaries to the two creeks, and the total stream length is 65.9 miles. There is one lake (open water > 5 acres) and 2 ponds (open water < 5 acres) in their combined creekshed.