Water Quality Stewards

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) 

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), a federal initiative established in 2010, is one of the most significant investments in environmental restoration of the Great Lakes. The initiative grew out of collaborative efforts among the Great Lakes states and federal agencies. In 2004, President George W. Bush created the Great Lakes Interagency Task Force to promote regional collaboration of restoration and protection efforts. In 2005, the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration Strategy was established and set forth recommendations to restore the health of the Great Lakes.

In 2009, President Barack Obama included $475 million in the FY 2010 budget for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to address the most pressing environmental concerns in the Great Lakes. In February 2010, the GLRI Action Plan was released. This plan laid out the specific steps to advance restoration goals in the Great Lakes between 2010 and 2014 and identified five focus areas. Several grant opportunities are also provided through the GLRI.

A listing of past and current projects awarded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) is available online through the GLRI Inter-agency website.

Who is Working in the Watershed

There are literally thousands of people working in the Saginaw Bay Watershed to protect and restore its environmental health and beauty.

International Joint Commission (IJC), Established by the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty, is comprised of six members of which three are appointed by the President of the United Sates and three are appointed by the Governor in Council of Canada. The Commission provides a vehicle for the two countries to cooperate and manage water resources wisely for the benefit of today’s citizens and future generations.

The Great Lakes Commission is an interstate compact agency that promotes the orderly, integrated and comprehensive development, use and conservation of the water and related natural resources of the Great Lakes basin and St. Lawrence River.

The Conservation Fund has been saving special places across America protecting 7 million acres of land and water in all 50 states. The Conservation Fund ranks among the top 1% of charities nationwide.

Ducks Unlimited is the world’s leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation. DU got its start in 1937 during the Dust Bowl when North America’s drought-plagued waterfowl populations had plunged to unprecedented lows. Determined not to sit idly by as the continent’s waterfowl dwindled beyond recovery, a small group of sportsmen joined together to form an organization that became known as Ducks Unlimited. Its mission: habitat conservation.

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality promotes wise management of Michigan’s air, land, and water resources to support a sustainable environment, healthy communities, and vibrant economy.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Division conducts aquatic surveys and assessments, performs permit reviews, and engages with the public and other agencies to provide critical information for management direction and decisions. Biologists and managers use this information to make fish stocking recommendations, prioritize and facilitate habitat improvement and protection projects, and evaluate and modify regulation changes, if necessary, on inland waters and the Great Lakes.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division is exclusively responsible for managing state game and wildlife management areas and facilities, which includes 111 state game and wildlife areas, located mainly in the southern half of the Lower Peninsula, on over 400,000 acres. The Wildlife Division is also jointly responsible, with the DNR Forest Resources Division, for planning and managing 3.9 million acres of state forest.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: The mission of the Service is “working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.” The Service’s ability to achieve this mission depends on partnerships. Throughout its storied history, the agency has been committed to a collaborative approach to conservation. Our strategy is to empower Americans to become citizen conservationists. The more the Service can empower people as stewards of the land, the more effective we can be in our conservation mission.

Watershed Champions

Cass River Greenway Committee includes representatives from each community along the Cass River from Bridgeport to Cass City. In addition to developing recreation opportunities along the Cass River and its corridor, the Cass River Greenway Committee’s goals include; preserve and enhance wildlife habitat, improve water quality, promote good environmental stewardship practices and develop ecotourism opportunities. By working these goals across township and community boundaries the Committee hopes to insure a future of healthy connected communities. For Cass River Greenway Committee 2014 year end report, please click the following link: http://www.cassriver.org/publications-reports-presentations.html

Chippewa Watershed Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation group working to protect open space and natural habitat in the counties of the Chippewa River Watershed in Central Michigan. We are currently protecting 3,560 acres in 27 easements and 16 preserves.

Flint River Watershed Coalition was formed in the fall of 1997 and is a collaboration between educational institutions, local government, local business, environmental groups, and concerned citizens who feel strongly that the Flint River and its tributaries are a vital resource we all need to protect. The FRWC was incorporated as a non-profit 501c3 organization in August of 1998.

Friends of the Shiawassee River is a Non-profit organization that was founded in 1996. Our mission is to care, to maintain and improve the water quality and habitats of the Shiawassee River watershed; share, to enhance the community’s appreciation and knowledge of the river, especially among youth; and enjoy, to increase recreational access and responsible use of the Shiawassee River.

Huron Pines  is a nonprofit conservation organization with a mission to protect the Great Lakes by conserving the forests, lakes and streams of Northeast Michigan. Huron Pines uses a science-based approach to improve the health of our natural resources by implementing large-scale, high-impact and long-term restoration projects. Huron Pines also brings diverse stakeholders together to identify shared goals, as well as strategies for achieving them, and works to instill a conservation ethic into all aspects of our communities to help ensure that Northeast Michigan remains a great place to live, work and enjoy.

Kawkawlin Watershed Property Owners Association was formed in 1993 with the objectives of promoting and advocating for watershed issues in the Kawkawlin River basin. Primary among these issues include recreation, safety, education about watershed issues, and the conservation and protection of water quality.

Little Forks Conservancy Since 1996, the Little Forks Conservancy has worked to preserve the land and rivers that define the Tittabawassee River watershed. Supported by our members, foundations and local businesses, the Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the rivers, forests and fields that make up our home.

Saginaw Bay Coastal Initiative (SBCI) is a group of interested people, businesses, and local governments in the bay front communities of: Arenac, Bay, Huron, Iosco, Midland, Saginaw, and Tuscola collaborating with state and federal agencies for actions to improve Saginaw Bay.

Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy is here to preserve land, protect water, and sustain life. We work to improve the quality of life for everyone in the Saginaw Bay Watershed.

Saginaw Bay RC&D is located in the middle eastern part of lower Michigan. The counties in which we cover are: Arenac, Bay, Clare, Genesee, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Isabella, Lapeer, Livingston, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac, Shiawassee, and Tuscola. The RC&D helps people care for natural resources and improve the quality of life in their communities. The RC&D Council (volunteers representing public and private sector sponsors and other local organizations) undertake community driven actions that are strategically focused on regional resource conservation and economic viability. RC&D priorities are set by area residents to meet their needs.

Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) is a community-based, voluntary initiative that connects people, resources, organizations, and programs. Saginaw Bay WIN is working to improve the quality of life in the area by developing projects, supporting related organizations, and developing the region’s identity as a sustainable community.

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe’s Environmental Team  is to support Tribal Council’s relations with governmental and non-governmental organizations, to ensure Tribal representation in environmental issues, protect Tribal natural resources, and facilitate sustainable development. Our guiding principle is to follow our cultural teachings that tell us, “As human beings, our original responsibility is to care for our Mother Earth in the same way she cares for us.” By working together to protect Mother Earth, we keep her beautiful and healthy. In turn, she keeps us all healthy, both for our generation and the next seven generations to come.”

Save our Shoreline To organize waterfront property owners and those with similar interests consistent with the goals of the organization; to preserve and maintain riparian rights, including the right to maintain safe recreational beaches and waterfront areas, both public and private; and to preserve and maintain a proper balance for the coexistence of man and nature upon and near waterfront property.

Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy conserves and cares for land in Oakland, Macomb, Lapeer, and Genesee counties. We work within the watersheds of the Huron, Flint, Shiawassee, Rouge, Belle, and Clinton rivers. Throughout the region, Six Rivers uses proven techniques in land conservation and stewardship to get the most valuable work done on the land most important to you.

Soil and Water Conservation Districts (county-level): The Michigan Association of Conservation Districts is a non-profit organization that represents the interests of Michigan Conservation Districts and works to strengthen Districts through leadership, information and representation at the state level. A directory of all county-level Conservation Districts is available on their website.