Blog: Laura Rubin

Laura Rubin is the Huron River Watershed Council’s Executive Director. Under Laura’s leadership the HRWC has tripled it’s operating budget in five years; increased staff size, and expanded its programs. Laura will be writing about how the Huron is the lifeblood of our community and how we can keep it healthy.

Post No 2

I want to tell you a story about people connecting to the Huron River. Twelve young women gathered together one warm June evening to swim in Portage Lake. While each one of them was an accomplished young athlete and member of the Dexter High School Girls Swim Team, none of them had ever done any training in a natural body of water, let alone the Huron River, which runs through Portage Lake. 

They entered the water a bit nervously, setting aside their common belief that the Huron is not safe for swimming and not quite knowing what to expect. They left the water with an understanding of what it means to truly experience the natural beauty of our River and with greater appreciation for why we should work hard to protect it. 

The Dexter High School Girls Swim Team joined Liz Elling for a pre-swim training session – the start of her 120 mile swim of the Huron River during the summer of 2007.

This is one of the hundreds of stories of the Huron that resulted as Liz made her way through the watershed. Stories that show how people connect to the River. Stories that were told by the Ann Arbor News, the Detroit Free Press, the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, and others. Stories that were witnessed by Liz’s friends and family, HRWC members and staff, volunteer paddlers and the countless people who helped with the swim and who donated money in support. 

HRWC along with an astounding number of volunteers, donors, members and supporters like Liz Elling, works every day to study and protect the Huron River.   

Join us. We have tons of volunteer opportunities with a big one next month. 

Monitoring the River is a huge task, covering 72 sites over the 910 square miles of the watershed.  Come join us in our River RoundUp where we find the coolest bugs ever!

On Saturday, September 20th we check the condition of the Huron River and its streams by finding the small creatures that live on the river bottom, where they construct teeny fishing nets and homes. Teams of trained and untrained volunteers leave at 9:00 am or 10:30 am and stay out for 5-6 hours. Contact Joan Martin at if you are interested.  Please reply by September 6th if you can join us on Saturday September 20th.