MiCorps started in 2005, combining an established lake monitoring program and a struggling stream monitoring program under a single umbrella.

MiCorps Goals

To develop a constituency of citizens to practice sound water quality management at the local level and build public support of lake and river protection.

Provide a cost-effective process for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to increase baseline data for river and lakes in Michigan.

extracting aquatic plant sample
Sampling for plants in the Exotic Plant Watch!

The program offers

  • an annual conference
  • newsletters (in the old days), blogs (in the new days)
  • training to professionals and volunteers
  • the Michigan Data Exchange (MDE), a publicly accessible database where all monitoring data is stored (micorps.net)

HRWC manages this statewide program under a contract run by the Great Lakes Commission and administered by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Michigan Lake and Stream Associations and Michigan State University are also subcontractors under GLC and important partners in the leadership and operation of the program.

  • Since 2005, 542 lakes have monitored lake water quality through in the CLMP. About half of these lakes participate every year.
  • About 500 people participate every year, most of whom are lake residents.
  • Volunteer registration fees have generated $420,000 from 2005-2018, money which goes to Michigan Lakes and Streams to run program logistics.
  • The CLMP program is a continuation of the Self-Help program, which started in 1974. Many lakes monitoring today have a data record that stretching back to 1974.
  • Lake associations, lake boards, and residents use CLMP data to help fight invasive aquatic species, manage lake nutrient levels, and educate lake residents on healthy waterfront living.
  • 86 grants (received by 53 organizations) have been disbursed, totaling $597,438, and generating $865,725 of local match (averaging $7,028 and $10,185, respectively.)
  • MiCorps operates under a “train the trainer” model. MiCorps staff have trained approximately 350 organizational leaders and advanced volunteers since 2005, who then go on to train their own volunteers.
  • A survey of grantees in 2012 showed that 2000 volunteers participate each fall and spring season.
  • 7,451 macroinvertebrate samples have been taken at 759 locations and have been recorded in the MDE.
  • 628 river habitat analyses have been conducted at 410 locations and recorded in the MDE.
  • Habitat and macroinvertebrate data is used to identify high quality areas, areas in need of restoration, and provide a baseline for tracking general stream health over time.
  • 616 assessments of the conditions of road-stream crossings have been conducted and this data has been passed onto Patrick Ertel of the Michigan DNR. The data have been used by County Road Commissioners to target culverts and bridges for replacement.

Alger County Conservation District

AuSable Institute

Barry County Conservation District

Benzie County Conservation District

Branch County Conservation District

Calhoun County Conservation District

Cannon Township

Cass County Conservation District

Cass River Greenway Committee

Chikaming Open Lands

Clinton River Watershed Council

Coldwater River Watershed Council

Dickinson County Conservation District

Flint River Watershed Coalition

Friends of the Rouge

Friends of the Shiawassee River

Friends of the St. Clair River Watershed

Glen Lake Association, Inc.

Gogebic County Conservation District

Grass River Natural Area

Ingham Conservation District

Huron River Watershed Council

Jackson County Conservation District

Jamestown Charter Township/Trinity Christian Reformed Church

Kalamazoo Nature Center

Lake Leelanau Lake Association

Lake Superior State University

Macatawa Area Coordinating Council

Manistee County Conservation District

Marguerite Gahagan Nature Preserve

Marquette County Conservation District

Mason-Lake County Conservation District

Michigan Council of Trout Unlimited

Michigan Lake and Stream Associations, Inc.

Midland County Conservation District

Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council

Missaukee County Conservation District

Muskegon County Conservation District/White River Partnership

Muskegon River Watershed Assembly

Outdoor Discover Center Macataw Greenway

Pine River/Van Etten Lake (PRVEL) Coalition

River Raisin Watershed Council

St. Joseph County Conservation District

Superior Watershed Partnership

The Little Forks Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy/Livingston County Drain Commissioner

The Sierra Club Foundation

The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay

Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council

UP Resource Conservation and Development Council

Van Buren County Conservation District

Van Buren County Road Commission

Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve