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 2018

Eleven organizations have been selected to receive 2018 Volunteer River, Stream and Creek Cleanup grants totaling more than $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 April 2018.

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 2018:


  • Huron River Watershed Council – Huron River Coordinated Cleanups, $4,350

Aid in collaboration, coordination, and expansion of numerous existing river cleanups and foster the creation of new cleanups while engaging roughly 500 volunteers to maintain the cleanliness of both upriver and downriver stretches of the Huron River and Mill Creek.

  • Missaukee Conservation District – Muskegon River Cleanup, $2,862

To clean up 35 miles of the Muskegon River and remove 15 cubic yards of trash while raising water quality and environmental stewardship awareness within the community and with visiting recreationists.

  • St. Joseph County Conservation District – River Country Cleanup, $2,797.50

To clean a combined 24.7 miles of waterway on five separate rivers within St. Joseph County, removing 40 cubic yards of debris, expanding relations with the community, and improving the conditions of the county’s recreational waterways.

  • Grand Traverse Conservation District – 14th Annual Boardman River Clean Sweep 2018, $2,200

To conduct the 14th 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 – 23rd Annual Shiawassee River Cleanup, $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.

  • Allegan Conservation District – Gun River Cleanup, $1,840

To remove debris from nearly five miles of the Gun River between 110th Street and 11th Street in Plainwell, MI, removing approximately eight cubic yards of debris to keep the Kalamazoo River cleaner and healthier.

  • Benzie Conservation District – Betsie River and Platte River Clean Sweeps, $1,126

To conduct both the 11th Annual Upper Platte River Clean Sweep and the 7th Annual Betsie River Clean Sweep in May and June 2018 as part of the American Rivers’ National River Cleanup 2018, removing anthropogenic sources of debris and trash from over eight miles of the Platte River and at least 13 miles of the Betsie River.

  • Kalkaska Conservation District – Annual Cleanup on the Manistee River, $1,077.50

To clean three stretches of the Manistee River over three different days, removing approximately 5 cubic yards of trash and large items noted in previous cleanups in partnership with various organizations along the Manistee River.

  • Village of Estral Beach – Swan Creek Cleanup, $1,039

To remove trash and tires along approximately 6.5 miles of waterways while engaging and educating local residents on the need to maintain the cleanliness of the waterways.

  • City of Monroe – 2018 River Raisin Cleanup, $1,025

To clean a 2.4-mile section of the river from Veteran’s Park to Hellenberg Park via six river access locations.

  • Antrim Conservation District – Jordan River Cleanup, $975

To collect at least 10 cubic yards of trash resulting in a visible reduction of waste along a six-mile stretch of the Jordan River.

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

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