- MiCorps started in 2005, combining an established lake monitoring program and a struggling stream monitoring program under a single umbrella.
- HRWC serves as the program manager of this statewide program, under a contract run by the Great Lakes Commission and administered by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality .
- The program offers an annual conference, newsletters (in the old days), blogs (in the new days), training to professionals and volunteers, and the Michigan Data Exchange (MDE) a publically accessible database where all monitoring data are stored (micorps.net).
- The two main goals of MiCorps are:
- 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.
- 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.
Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program (CLMP) Over five hundred lakes monitored since 1974
- 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.
Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program (VSMP) Two thousand volunteers looking for bugs every year
- 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.
List of Stream Organizations in the VSMP
Alger County Conservation District
Barry County Conservation District
Benzie County Conservation District
Branch County Conservation District
Calhoun County Conservation District
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