Working towards a brighter, 'bluer' future in metro Detroit

Monday, March 28, 2016
Metro Detroit's 'Area of Concern' waterways—the Raisin, Rouge, Clinton and St. Clair rivers— have known their fair share of problems resulting from industry and urbanization.  

But despite it all, local waterways have gotten steadily cleaner. People are fishing, paddling and swimming again. Many critical habitat areas have been preserved and restored in recent years.

Significant challenges remain. Beach closings. Contaminated sediments. Diminished fish and wildlife populations.

Cleaning up local waterways is key to Michigan's 'blue economy.' Clean water could mean more economic and community development and tourism for communities across southeast Michigan.

But getting there will require plenty of dedication and continued funding.  

In this issue, we take a look at the U.S. EPA's Great Lakes Areas of Concern program in Michigan and how it has played out in metro Detroit. We also talk to some of the area's longtime advocates on why they've stayed dedicated to the clean water game.

Cleaning up metro Detroit's waterways

Cleaning up the past for a brighter, 'bluer' economic future in Michigan

Nina Ignaczak

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Michigan's 'blue economy' presents plenty of opportunities for Michigan's economic future. But first, the state must clean up the sins of its economic past.

Battling pollution's legacy in metro Detroit's 'Areas of Concern' waterways

Kirk Haverkamp

Thursday, March 24, 2016

From urbanization to legacy industrial contamination, many of metro Detroit's waterways are designated as "Areas of Concern." But thanks to the efforts of dedicated volunteers and some federal funding, these areas are on their way to restoration.

Take me to the river: CRWC director Anne Vaara on restoring an urban waterway

Annamarie Sysling

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Clinton River is both Michigan's most populous watershed and an Area of Concern. That means lots of volunteers to help with the cleanup effort, which is encouraging to Clinton River Watershed Council director Anne Vaara.

Richard Micka on restoring the River Raisin and a life spent close to home

Anna Sysling

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Richard Micka left Monroe, Michigan once in his life—to serve in the air force. Since then, he's stayed close to home, devoting much of his energy to working on cleaning up the River Raisin for future generations.

Blue water beauty: Fred Kemp on the long-game of cleaning up the St. Clair River

Annamarie Sysling

Thursday, March 24, 2016

After a career working at the Port Huron wastewater treatment plant, Fred Kemp is still hard at work restoring the blue waters of his hometown.

Restoring the Rouge is 'about getting the community to the river'

Annamarie Sysling

Thursday, March 24, 2016

When Bill Craig heard about a golf course coming to a local wetland, he started getting active. And he's been that way ever since—which has been a great boon to the Rouge River and its communities.
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