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Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds

Seasonal Newsletter
Winter 2022

Photo Credit to Thom Bell

50 Years of Clean Water

October 18th, 2022 was the 50th anniversary of the Federal Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Act established the basic framework for protecting our water resources by regulating the release of pollutants to lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands. The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) has released a Clean Water Act Webinar Series and has more information on their website, found here.



Urban Waters Ambassador 

Robert Cloy, LGROW's newest staff member, is the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP) Ambassador for the Grand Rapids/Grand River location! The Grand Valley Metro Council is proud to host this position with funding through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Forest Service. The UWFP brings together federal agencies, local and state government, and leading community organizations to support watershed revitalization efforts through ecological restoration, green infrastructure, water quality monitoring, recreational programs, and environmental education. Robert will accelerate and coordinate projects that are critical to improving water quality and public health, restoring forest resources, and fostering community stewardship in the Lower Grand River Watershed. 
LGROW recently partnered with Plainsong Farm & Ministry and the Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan to create an ArcGIS StoryMap showing the properties owned by the dioceses in ecological and social context. As these dioceses consider joining as one, the map was designed to provide members greater insight about the properties they hold and how they can be used for ministry. 
This project also made concrete progress on a 2018 resolution by the Episcopal Church to create inventories of church properties to support the development of partnerships "enabling the use of church-owned land for regenerative agriculture and biodiversity conservation projects in order to sequester carbon and to mitigate climate change." 
 If you would like to read more about this project, click here.
Using road salt is necessary to ensure public safety during the cold weather seasons. Unfortunately, the accumulation of road salt is a major issue for Earth's freshwater systems. Road Salt does not dissolve in freshwater, causing these salts to build up. Elevated levels of road salts severely impacts our aquatic ecosystems. In recent years, there have been more studies conducted on road salts in freshwater. If you would like to learn more, read about it here

Are you curious about how much salt is making its way into local lakes, rivers, and streams? The Izaak Walton League of America has created the Salt Watch Pledge and is asking community members to sample local waters! Each kit comes with four test strips, with the recommended testing regimen of once a month, December – March.
We have Salt Watch Kits at our office for you to use! Become a Community Scientist and collect data! Contact Senci to arrange a pick up. 

Fun Fact: Only a 12-ounce mug of 
salt-based de-icer is needed for a 20-foot driveway.


Figure 1. Salt Watch Season 5 (2021-2022) results, West Michigan Specific. Clusters show salt concentrations in ppm (
Grand River Rainscaping 
In October, LGROW and the Native Plant Guild worked together to install four raingardens on residential properties.  Green storm water infrastructure (GSI) practices like rain gardens and bioswales are a few of the many ways that property owners can manage their stormwater onsite. Managing your stormwater as close to where it falls reduces the amount of polluted runoff that enters our waterways. By November 2024, there will be 12 newly installed green stormwater infrastructure practices within the Lower Grand River Watershed funded through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy Nonpoint Source Division. 

Grand River Restoration Project Update

The City of Grand Rapids, in partnership with Grand Rapids WhiteWater (GRWW), submitted a permit request for work related to the Lower Reach of the Grand River Revitalization Project. The next step in the permitting process from Michigan Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) was a public hearing, that was hosted on September 29, 2022. The public hearing was followed by a period of accepting public comments and questions that closed October 9, 2022. Throughout the month of October, Grand River Voices, a community engagement nonprofit hosted several “Report Out and Feedback Sessions” to gather community input to finalize their equity framework for the Grand River Revitalization Project. 

You can help document the transformation of the river! Photo monitoring stations are installed along the River Walk where construction will take place. Snap a picture! Your pictures can be posted with #PhotoMonitorGRR or emailed to to be included in a gallery on LGROW’s River Restoration page.

Check storm drains for built-up ice! Clear them so snowmelt can move freely out of the roads. 

Learn more and adopt a drain at

Check Our Website for Upcoming Events

December - April

For more details click here 


F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M
V I S I T  our W E B S I T E V I S I T our W E B S I T E





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