Michigan Volunteer River,
Stream and Creek Cleanup Program

Grants Awarded in 2019

Fourteen organizations have been selected to receive 2019 Volunteer River, Stream and Creek Cleanup grants totaling more than $29,000 to be awarded by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE).

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 EGLE; award notices went out to grantees in April 2019.

Funding for the VRSCCP is provided by EGLE 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 EGLE.


Groups selected to receive funding in 2019:


  • Huron River Watershed Council – Huron River Coordinated Cleanups, $4,864

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.

  • Alliance of Rouge Communities – Rouge Rescue River Cleanup, $4,500

To remove 36 cubic yards of trash from five river miles along the Rouge River, while engaging roughly 400 volunteers at ten cleanup sites.

  • Marquette County Conservation District – Whetstone Brook Cleanup, $2,400

To remove 7 cubic yards of trash from a 1.5-mile section of the Whetstone Brook, with participation from local businesses, Northern Michigan University students, community members, City employees, and non-profit organizations in the area.

  • St. Joseph County Conservation District – River Country Cleanup 2019, $2,247.50

To clean a combined 20.7 miles of waterway on three separate rivers within St. Joseph County, removing 40 cubic yards of debris, expanding relations with the community, and upholding St. Joseph County’s reputation as a great place for water recreation.

  • Grand Traverse Conservation District – 15th Annual Boardman River Clean Sweep – 2019, $2,180

To conduct the 15th 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 – 24th Annual Shiawassee River Cleanup, $2,000

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.

  • City of Monroe – 2019 River Raisin Cleanup, $1,830

To clean a 1.8-mile section of the river from Cranbrook Boulevard (Worrell Park) to the IHM River House via six river access locations.

  • Lake Superior State University’s Center for Freshwater Research and Education – Ashmun Creek Cleanup, $1,614.50

To clean up five miles of the Ashmun Creek and remove 10 cubic yards of trash while engaging LSSU students and community members in Great Lakes stewardship through the event.

  • Gladwin Conservation District – Cedar River Cleanup 2019, $1,537

To remove debris from 4.5 miles of the Cedar River between Wiggins Lake and Gladwin City Park Campground, while promoting stewardship of the Cedar River watershed.

  • City of Ecorse – First Annual Ecorse Creek Cleanup, $1,475

To clean a 2.5-mile section of Ecorse Creek located within the City of Ecorse from its connection to the Detroit River to the City’s western boundary, while promoting awareness of the Creek as a significant natural asset for the community.

  • City of Petoskey Department of Parks and Recreation – Healing the Bear – Bear River Cleanup, $1,406

To maintain the ecological and aesthetic integrity of the Bear River by involving the community in keeping it clean and healthy through the removal of trash from at least three priority areas along the river.

  • Michigan State University Landscape Services – MSU Red Cedar River Cleanup Phase 1, $1,250

To clean both sides of a stretch of the Red Cedar River along East Michigan Avenue and Beal Street, removing up to 20 cubic yards of trash.

  • Village of Estral Beach – 2019 Swan Creek Cleanup, $1,131.95

To remove trash and tires along approximately 5 miles of waterways while engaging and educating local residents on the need to maintain the cleanliness of the waterways.

  • Benzie Conservation District – Betsie and Platte River Clean Sweeps, $980

To conduct both the 12th Annual Upper Platte River Clean Sweep and the 8th Annual Betsie River Clean Sweep in May and June 2019 as part of the American Rivers’ National River Cleanup 2019, removing anthropogenic sources of debris and trash from over eight miles of the Platte River and at least 13 miles of the Betsie River.

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