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West Michigan communities receive water cleanup and monitoring grants


The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy announced over $102,000 through twenty-seven grants to local governments and nonprofits throughout the state of Michigan

The Michigan Clean Water Corps Program provides grants to local governments to clean and improve Michigan waterways. Those governments often partner with nonprofits or other volunteer groups for waterway cleanup and monitoring.

Tamara Lipsey is an Aquatic Biologist with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. She explains how waterway monitoring works, by collecting samples of animals like snails, mussels, and various insects, known as macroinvertebrates.

“We train somebody on identifying the macroinvertebrates and also how to look at the habitat because that’s another component of it. They look at the habitat and give it a rating and then they train their volunteers to do the work.”

Groups in West Michigan who are receiving cleanup funds include the Muskegon Conservation District, the Macatawa Coordinating Council and Ottawa County Water Resources.

Additionally, the Ottawa County Conservation District will receive almost $5,000 in startup funds to begin their own cleanup and monitoring program.

Lipsey explains where some of the funding comes from.

“Specialty water quality license plates allow us to give out money to local units of government and educate people on how much trash is in our waterways and how important it is to take care of our waterways.”

You can go to MiCorps.net for more information.

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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