Michigan Volunteer River,
Stream and Creek Cleanup Program

For More Information

Laura Kaminski
Grants and Contracts Manager
Great Lakes Commission
[email protected]

Marcy Knoll Wilmes
Senior Aquatic Biologist
Michigan DEQ
[email protected]

Grants Awarded in 2017

Eight organizations have been selected to receive 2017 Volunteer River, Stream and Creek Cleanup grants totaling nearly $21,000 to be awarded by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

Michigan’s Volunteer River, Stream, and Creek Cleanup Program (VRSCCP) provides small grants in the range of $500 to $5,000 to local units of government to help implement cleanup of trash and debris within or along the banks of rivers, streams, and creeks to improve the waters in Michigan. Grant applications were received, reviewed and assessed by Great Lakes Commission and DEQ; award notices went out to grantees in March 2017.

Funding for the VRSCCP is provided by DEQ through fees collected from the sale of the State’s Water Quality Protection license plates (Public Act 74 of 2000). The Great Lakes Commission administers the VRSCCP on behalf of the DEQ.

Groups selected to receive funding in 2017:


  • Macomb County Public Works Office – Keeping It Clean with the Clinton River Watershed Council, $4,917.50

Provide support to the Clinton River Watershed Council’s Keeping It Clean program, specifically focusing on eight cleanups to remove trash from roughly 30 miles of stream within the Clinton River Watershed.

  • Huron River Watershed Council – Huron River Coordinated Cleanups, $4,310

Aid in collaboration, coordination, and expansion of numerous existing river cleanups and foster the creation of new cleanups while engaging roughly 400 volunteers to maintain the cleanliness of both upriver and downriver stretches of the Huron River and Mill Creek.

  • City of Grand Haven – 7th Annual Ottawa County Grand River Cleanup, $3,000

To engage 300-400 community volunteers to remove approximately 50 cubic yards of trash from a 20-mile section of the Grand River, especially in the area where the river drains into Lake Michigan. 

  • Grand Traverse Conservation District – Boardman River Clean Sweep 2017, $2,050

To conduct the 13th annual community-wide cleanup of the Boardman River in conjunction with the National River Cleanup and the Cherry Festival, including river and bank trash pick-up of human induced trash along navigable segments of the River totaling approximately 30 miles.

  • Shiawassee County Health Department – 22nd Annual Shiawassee River Clean-up, $1,900

To remove trash and debris from the mainstem of the Shiawassee River and adjacent banks from Byron to Oakley, cleaning at least seven miles along the main stem of the river and targeting rural areas for tire removal.

  • St. Joseph County Conservation District – St. Joseph River Cleanup, $1,775.50

To engage approximately 100 volunteers to clean 19 miles of the county’s St. Joseph and Prairie Rivers, including ten sites and additional dumpsites that were marked from previous cleanup events.

  • Barry Conservation District – 22nd Annual Thornapple River Cleanup, $1,525

To remove all safely accessible trash from the water and along the banks at or below the water’s edge along 60 river miles, recruiting 100 volunteers to participate, removing approximately 40 cubic yards of trash, and recycling all recovered metal and tires.

  • Calhoun Conservation District – Kalamazoo River Cleanup & Celebration, $1,210

To clean a 2.5-mile section of the Kalamazoo River while engaging roughly 75-100 volunteers to remove human trash accumulations greater than 20 cubic yards from the stream, including tires, barrels, and other debris.

To inquire about specific volunteer opportunities, please visit our Calendar of Cleanup Events for contact information for each project.

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