A Watershed is any area of land where all the water drains to a common waterbody. Everyone lives in a watershed. Sustainable land use and establishing Best Management Practices, particularly on land adjacent to waterways, is key to healthier and more enjoyable rivers, lakes and streams.
One of the goals of the Ingham Conservation District is to protect, improve and promote the health of our local waterways. The ICD is currently invested in several programs and projects that address watershed quality. Be sure to visit our Watershed Events page to find out how you can get involved in supporting the health of your local watershed.
The Upper Grand Bacterial Reduction Project
The Jackson County Conservation District has received a 319 Non-Point Source grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to reduce bacterial pollution in the Upper Grand River Watershed. The Ingham Conservation District will be coordinating grant efforts in the Ingham County portion of the work area. The project is designed to target agricultual and residential sources of pollution and through educational outreach and implemention of Best Management Practices to measurably reduce E.coli and other pollutants. You can learn more about this important watershed visit the Upper Grand River Watershed Alliance website. If you would like to get involved in events and activities that support local water conservation and water quality visit our Watershed Events page.
Red Cedar River Watershed Monitoring Project
SuSSSur SuThe Ingham Conservation DisThe Ingham Conservation District will be monitoring key tributaries of the Red Cedar River to help assess sources of E.coli and sedimentation in the Red Cedar River Watershed. This project will provide new and/or current data that will be used to help prioritize areas within the watershed for outreach and implementation work. This project is supported in part by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's Clean Michigan Initiative.Red Cedar River
Adopt-A-Stream – A Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program
Adopt-A-Stream is a program in which volunteers monitor water quality by collecting and identifying benthic macroinvertebrates or “bugs” from different sites along the Upper Grand River. There is a spring and fall collection during which volunteers work in teams to collect bugs from different sites within the Upper Grand River Watershed. There is also a winter stonefly hunt and summer habitat assesment.
Volunteers either wade in the water and collect the bugs or stay on dry land and help sort the bugs. Each Collection Day is followed by a “Bug Identification Night”. Staff and volunteers use microscopes and reference materials to identify the bugs we found on Collection Day. The type and diversity of invertebrates found at each site provides insight into the health of the waterway at that location and can be used to target conservation and restoration efforts. This data supplements the data collected by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality every 5 years.
Join us for a chance to be outdoors, learn more about your local ecosystem and help make a difference. Volunteers do not need to be experienced in water quality or macroinvertebrate identification. All training and equipment is provided. Kids 12 and older are welcome to participate if accompanied by an adult. Please visit our Watershed Events Page to keep informed on upcoming Adopt-A-Stream training and collection dates. Please note that all new volunteers need to attend a training session in order to participate in Collection Day. This program is supported by the Jackson County Drain Commission.
AAS Fall Collection Volunteers 2010 (above) and Stonefly Hunt Volunteers 2012
Middle Grand River Watershed Management Planning
The Eaton Conservation District received a 319-non point source grant from the MDEQ to complete a planning process to develop a watershed management plan for the Middle Grand River watershed which encompasses approximately 258 square miles in Clinton, Eaton, Ionia and Ingham County. The Ingham Conservation District is a stakeholder in the project and is working to support this management planning process.
Learn More about how other local organizations are addressing Watershed Health
Michigan State University Institute of Water Research - The Institute of Water Research (IWR) at MSU provides timely information for addressing contemporary land and water resource issues through coordinated multidisciplinary efforts using advanced information and networking systems. Activities include coordinating education and training programs on surface and ground water protection, land use and watershed management, and many others. The MSU IWR has received a 319 Non-point Source grant to support their Red Cedar River Watershed Planning Project.
Tri-County Regional Planning Commisssion - The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (TCRPC) is a voluntary organization of local governments and agencies organized to foster a cooperative effort in resolving problems, policies and plans that are common and regional with the greatest benefit to citizens of the Tri-County area while maximizing the efficient use of its resorces. Environmental services of the TCRPC include stormwater management, groundwater management and educational outreach.
Upper Grand River Watershed Alliance - The Upper Grand River Watershed Alliance is a coalition of municipalities, agencies, businesses and individuals in the headwaters region of the Grand River, Michigan's longest river, working together to protect and restore the river, its lakes, streams, and wetlands.
Grand River Environmental Action Team (GREAT) - The Grand River Environmental Action Team is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of and restoration of the Upper Grand River Watershed. GREAT organizes clean-up activites and monthly public canoe outings to create environmental awareness.
Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council (Mid-MEAC) – Mid-MEAC focuses on environmental issues in Clinton, Eaton and Ingham Counties. From river cleanup projects to monthly land use lunches, Mid-MEAC is committed to helping translate environmental concerns into action by providing education, advocacy and volunteer opportunities.