Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Survey Start-Up Grant Projects

In 2007, MiCorps began the VSMP Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Survey Start-Up Grants Program to provide “seed money” for newly forming volunteer monitoring groups. The following organizations have received start-up grants to date.

2017 Grants

Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway – Rabbit River Watershed Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Survey

Watershed(s): Rabbit River
Funding Amount: $3,000
Contact: Anna Daab, 616-393-9453, anna@outdoordiscovery.org
Project Duration: 2017-2018

The Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway intends to develop a volunteer macroinvertebrate monitoring program along the Rabbit River, a tributary of the Kalamazoo River, located within Allegan County. The funding also supports the design of a monitoring strategy as a first step toward the development of a full proposal for a monitoring program.

2016 Grants

Missaukee Conservation District – Missaukee Conservation District’s Stream Team

Watershed(s): Upper-Central Muskegon River
Funding Amount: $2,698
Contact: Sherry Blaszak, 231-839-7193, sherry.blaszak@macd.org
Project Duration: 2016-2017 (project completed)

The Missaukee Conservation District intends to establish a macroinvertebrate monitoring program on the Clam River and other parts of the mid- to upper Muskegon River watershed within Missaukee County.

Jamestown Charter Township – Rush Creek Watershed Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Survey

Watershed(s): Rush Creek
Funding Amount: $2,990
Contact: Pastor Gerald Koning, 616-457-1630, pastorgerry@trinity-crc.org
Project Duration: 2016-2017 (project completed)

The Jamestown Charter Township, in partnership with the Trinity Christian Reformed Church, intends to establish a macroinvertebrate monitoring program on Rush Creek in eastern Ottawa County.

2015 Grants

St. Joseph County Conservation District – Exploring our Waters Start Up Grant

Watershed(s): Rocky River, Prairie River
Funding Amount: $2,128
Contact: Carolyn Grace, 269-467-6336, carolyn.grace@macd.org
Project Duration: 2015-2016 (project completed)

The St. Joseph County Conservation District utilized their 2015 start-up grant to establish a macroinvertebrate monitoring program in the Rocky River and Prairie River watersheds in St. Joseph County.

Cass County Conservation District – Cass County Waters Monitoring Team Development Project

Watershed(s): Dowagiac River, Rocky River
Funding Amount: $2,991
Contact: Justin Miller, 269-445-8643, justin.miller@macd.org
Project Duration: 2015-2016 (project completed)

The Cass County Conservation District intends to establish a macroinvertebrate monitoring program in the Dowagiac River and Rocky River watersheds in Cass County.

2014 Grants

Van Buren Conservation District – Paw Paw River Watershed Monitoring Project

Watershed(s): Paw Paw River
Funding Amount: $2,923.25
Contact: AJ Brucks, 269-657-4030, alison.brucks@mi.nacdnet.net
Project Duration: 2014-2015 (project completed)

The Van Buren Conservation District utilized their 2014 start-up grant to establish a macroinvertebrate monitoring program along the middle section of the Paw Paw River watershed, which is a tributary to the St. Joseph River.

Ingham Conservation District – Ingham Conservation Stream Monitoring Program

Watershed(s): Upper and Middle Grand River, Red Cedar River
Funding Amount: $2,354
Contact: Michelle Beloskur, 517-676-2290, michelle.beloskur@macd.org
Project Duration: 2014-2015 (project completed)

The Ingham Conservation District utilized their 2014 start-up grant to establish a macroinvertebrate monitoring program in the Upper and Middle Grand River and Red Cedar River watersheds within Ingham County.

The Little Forks Conservancy – Cedar River Watershed Monitoring Program

Watershed(s): Cedar River
Funding Amount: $2,276
Contact: Elan Lipschitz, 989-835-4886, elipschitz@littleforks.org
Project Duration: 2014-2015 (project completed)

The Little Forks Conservancy utilized their 2014 start-up grant to establish a macroinvertebrate monitoring program in the upper section of the Cedar River, a blue ribbon trout stream within the Saginaw Bay watershed.

2013 Grants

Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies – Upper Manistee River Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program

Watershed(s): Manistee River
Funding Amount: $2,965
Contact: Paul Wiemerslage, 231-587-8686, paul.w@ausable.org
Project Duration: 2013-2014 (project completed)

The Au Sable Institute utilized their 2013 start-up grant to establish a macroinvertebrate and habitat monitoring program on the headwaters of the Manistee River, which faced a number of restoration challenges and future concerns. The goal of the project was to create the plans to implement a long-term sampling program that involved numerous project partners and the participation of community volunteers.

2012 Grants

Calhoun Conservation District – Wilder Creek Watershed Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program

Watershed(s): Wilder Creek (tributary of the Kalamazoo River)
Funding Amount: $2,990
Contact: Tracy Bronson, 269-781-4867, tracy.bronson@macd.org
Project Duration: 2012-2013 (project completed)

The Calhoun Conservation District utilized their 2012 start-up grant to establish a macroinvertebrate monitoring program for the Wilder Creek watershed at several different locations from its headwaters to its drainage point. This effort included meetings with the principal investigators, attending an established group’s monitoring event, developing an outreach plan, and developing a full stream grant proposal for a future funding cycle. In addition, the project further gauged community interest in other area stream monitoring projects and planned for future volunteer training for those groups as well.

Alger Conservation District – Alger Waters Monitoring Team Development Project

Watershed(s): Bohemian Creek, Slapneck Creek
Funding Amount: $2,929
Contact: Teri Grout, 906-387-2222, teri.grout@mi.nacdnet.net
Project Duration: 2012-2013 (project completed)

The Alger Conservation District utilized their 2012 start-up grant to fund the development of a monitoring plan for Bohemian Creek and Slapneck Creek in western Alger County in the Upper Peninsula. This effort helped to fill a void that existed in monitoring data for western Alger County streams; helped to build a sustainable and dedicated volunteer base that not only helped to gather baseline data but will provide a consistent and credible data stream in the future; and provided a workable volunteer program template which could then be transferred for use in other key watersheds in the county. In addition, this effort helped to prioritize future restoration activities within the watershed.

Coldwater River Watershed Council – Coldwater River Monitoring Program

Watershed(s): Coldwater River (tributary of the Thornapple River)
Funding Amount: $2,170
Contact: Dick Smith, 616-897-8709, dielsmith@yahoo.com
Project Duration: 2012-2013 (project completed)

The Coldwater River Watershed Council utilized their 2012 start-up grant to fund the development of a monitoring plan for the Coldwater River, a tributary to the Thornapple River. This effort also included leading an educational program on the benefits of and improvements to the River, involving schools, parents, teachers and riparian landowners; and the completion of a detailed inventory of erosion sites along the riparian corridor of the Coldwater River mainstream, as well as Duck and Tyler Creeks.

White River Watershed Partnership – Upper White River Watershed

Watershed(s): Cobmossa Creek
Funding Amount: $1,600
Contact: Thomas Tisue, Ph.D., 231-421-4408, thomastisue@comcast.net
Project Duration: 2012-2013 (project completed)

The White River Watershed Partnership utilized their 2012 start-up grant to assist in the development of a monitoring program to be piloted in Cobmossa Creek in Oceana County. Through this effort, the project also trained volunteers to initially monitor one tributary for a period of three years and then begin to build the necessary expertise and community interest and support to expand the monitoring program to other parts of the watershed over time. Goals for the project included the establishment of benchmarks and the evaluation of changes to habitats and macroinvertebrate populations over time following culvert replacements and other habitat improvements, or degradation from land and water use changes.

2011 Grants

Kalamazoo Nature Center – Planning Benthic Macroinvertebrate Monitoring in the Kalamazoo River Watershed

Watershed(s): Kalamazoo River
Funding Amount: $3,000
Contact: Anna Kornoelje, 269-491-7647, akornoelje@naturecenter.org
Project Duration: 2011-2012 (project completed)

The Kalamazoo Nature Center utilized their 2011 start-up grant to plan for a stream monitoring program that would train volunteers to sample and identify macroinvertebrates, make their data publicly available, and provide other information that is useful for citizens and scientists alike.

Mason-Lake Conservation District – Upper Hamlin Lake Watershed Stream Monitoring Project

Watershed(s): Hamlin Lake and the Big Sable River Basin streams
Funding Amount: $2,988
Contact: Lynda Herremans, 231-757-3708, lynda.herremans@mi.nacdnet.net
Project Duration: 2011-2012 (project completed)

The Mason-Lake Conservation District utilized their 2011 start-up grant to support the development of a monitoring program for several creeks and small tributaries which flow into Hamlin Lake and the Big Sable River to document where there are known water quality problems and pinpoint areas with good water quality.

Macatawa Area Coordinating Council – Developing a Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program in the Macatawa Watershed

Watershed(s): Macatawa Watershed
Funding Amount: $2,980.48
Contact: Mary Fales, 606-395-2688, mfales@the-macc.org
Project Duration: 2011-2012 (project completed)

The Macatawa Area Coordinating Council utilized their 2011 start-up grant to develop a long term volunteer stream monitoring program to assess water quality based on the health of stream macroinvertebrates and stream habitat throughout the Macatawa watershed.

Lake Leelanau Lake Association – Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program Start-Up

Watershed(s): Lake Leelanau area streams
Funding Amount: $2,500
Contact: Wayne Swallow, 231-649-2087, wayneswallow@att.net
Project Duration: 2011-2012 (project completed)

The Lake Leelanau Lake Association utilized their 2011 start-up grant to increase volunteer participation, educate volunteers on identification and the ecological significance of macroinvertebrates in determining stream quality, and measure the effectiveness of watershed improvement projects conducted under the group’s watershed protection plan.

Cass River Greenway Committee – Cass River Water Study

Watershed(s): Cass River
Funding Amount: $1,033
Contact: Don Zoller, 989-652-3820, don.zoller@gmail.com
Project Duration: 2011-2012 (project completed)

The Cass River Greenway Committee utilized their 2011 start-up grant to improve the water quality of the Cass River through a long term study of the water quality through macroinvertebrate monitoring by volunteers.

2010 Grants

Muskegon River Watershed Assembly – Hersey River Watershed Monitoring Program

Watershed(s): Hersey River
Funding Amount: $3,000
Contact: Terry Stilson, 231-591-2324, mrwa@ferris.edu
Project Duration: 2010-2011 (project completed)

The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly utilized their 2010 start-up grant to fund the formulation of monitoring plans for the Hersey Watershed, a subwatershed of the Muskegon River. The Hersey River is a high quality trout stream and is one of the main urban centers in the Muskegon River watershed, flowing through Reed City. A sustained water quality monitoring effort will provide valuable data that can be used by watershed managers to address potential issues within this critical watershed, identify changes in stream ecology, and promote stewardship of this important natural resource.

Gogebic Conservation District – Presque Isle Watershed Volunteer Stream Monitoring Start-Up Program – Black River

Watershed(s): Black River
Funding Amount: $2,000
Contact: Mary Powell, 906-663-4512, mary.powell@mi.nacdnet.net
Project Duration: 2010-2011 (project completed)

The Gogebic Conservation District utilized their 2010 start-up grant to fund the formulation of monitoring plans for the Black River, a subwatershed of the Presque Isle watershed on the far western side of the Upper Peninsula. The Black River is a high quality trout stream and very little data had previously been collected on this stream. The healthy connectivity of the tributaries of the Black River is extremely valuable and important, and data collected through this monitoring program will be paramount to future aquatic habitat restoration projects. This effort included assembling a steering committee, assessing key conservation needs, building a monitoring strategy, and working closely with interested citizens.

Cannon Township – Bear Creek Stream Study Start-Up

Watershed(s): Bear Creek
Funding Amount: $1,054.25
Contact: Kim Sapkowski, 616-874-6966, ksapkowski@cannontwp.org
Project Duration: 2010-2011 (project completed)

Cannon Township utilized their 2010 start-up grant to set up a monitoring program for Bear Creek in Kent County. Bear Creek is a small watershed (29 square miles) but has seen a large increase in population in the past 20 years. This effort was used to expand their knowledge and monitoring efforts with macroinvertebrate monitoring to better understand the health of the system to make better planning decisions and prioritize stream projects.

Midland Conservation District – Midland County Adopt-a-Stream

Watershed(s): Sturgeon Creek
Funding Amount: $866.37
Contact: Ronald Johnson, 989-687-9760, rwjohnson@hotmail.com
Project Duration: 2010-2011 (project completed)

The Midland Conservation District utilized their 2010 start-up grant to fund the formulation of monitoring plans for the Sturgeon Creek, a tributary of the Tittabawasee River in Midland County. The primary goals of the project were to establish baseline data that could be used by environmental governing bodies and to introduce the general public to watershed quality.

2009 Grants

Branch County Conservation District – Coldwater River Watershed Monitoring Project

Watershed(s): Coldwater River
Funding Amount: $2,000
Contact: Kathy Worst, 517-278-8008, kathy.worst@mi.nacdnet.net
Project Duration: 2009-2010 (project completed)

The Branch County Conservation District utilized their 2009 start-up grant to develop a Coldwater River Watershed volunteer-based monitoring plan that could support a full grant request for a future grant cycle.

Michigan Council of Trout Unlimited – Kalamazoo Valley Chapter – MCTU/KVCTU Stream Monitoring Project

Watershed(s): Kalamazoo River
Funding Amount: $1,940
Contact: Kristin Nelson, 616-460-0477, knelson@mctu.org
Project Duration: 2009-2010 (project completed)

The Michigan Council of Trout Unlimited utilized their 2009 start-up grant to monitor six sites within the Spring Brook and Dickinson Creek watersheds along with the development of a more extensive monitoring plan that could support a full grant request for a future grant cycle.

2008 Grants

No start-up grants were awarded this year.

2007 Grants

Marguerite Gahagan Nature Preserve – Upper Au Sable River Watershed Monitoring Project

Watershed(s): Upper Au Sable River
Funding Amount: $2,980
Contact: Tom Dale, 989-275-8206, thdale@core.com
Project Duration: 2007-2008 (project completed)

The Marguerite Gahagan Nature Preserve utilized their 2007 start-up grant to develop a volunteer-based monitoring plan for the Upper Au Sable River that could support a full grant request for a future grant cycle.

Huron Pines – Pine River / Van Etten Lake Stream Monitoring Program

Watershed(s): Pine River / Van Etten Lake
Funding Amount: $1,792.90
Contact: Brad Jensen, 989-344-0753, brad@huronpines.org
Project Duration: 2007-2008 (project completed)

Huron Pines utilized their 2007 start-up grant to develop a volunteer-based monitoring plan for the Pine River / Van Etten Lake watershed that could support a full grant request for a future grant cycle.

Chikaming Open Lands – Galien River Start-Up Stream Monitoring Project

Watershed(s): Galien River
Funding Amount: $1,811
Contact: Jean Brokish, 269-469-2330, jbrokish@chikamingopenlands.org
Project Duration: 2007-2008 (project completed)

Chikaming Open Lands utilized their 2007 start-up grant to develop a volunteer-based monitoring program in the Galien River watershed in Berrien County.