The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) is a network of volunteer monitoring programs in Michigan. It was created through an executive order by Governor Jennifer M. Granholm to assist the DEQ in collecting and sharing water quality data for use in water resources management and protection programs.
The mission of MiCorps is to network and expand volunteer water quality monitoring organizations statewide for the purpose of collecting, sharing and using reliable data; educate and inform the public about water quality issues; and foster water resources stewardship
to facilitate the preservation and protection of Michigan’s water resources.
Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program– MiCorps provides technical assistance and grants to local units of government and nonprofit entities for water quality monitoring in wadable streams and rivers through the Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program. Each year, up to $50,000 is available for volunteer monitoring grant awards. The monitoring
typically includes an evaluation of benthic invertebrate communities and stream habitat, but it also may include the collection and chemical analysis of water samples. MiCorps staff provides training, support, and assistance with developing quality assurance project plans to the grantees, helping them to reach a professional level of monitoring. In addition, the resultant data will be used by the DEQ as a screening tool to identify sites requiring more detailed assessment and as supplemental data for DEQ water resources management programs.
The Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program – The Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program (CLMP), the second oldest volunteer lakes monitoring program in the country, has been an important component of Michigan’s inland lakes monitoring program for over 30 years. The primary purpose of the CLMP is to help citizen volunteers monitor the water quality of their lakes and document changes in lake quality over time. CLMP participants collect data on a variety of different parameters including: Secchi disk transparency; total phosphorus; chlorophyll a; dissolved oxygen; temperature; and aquatic plant identification and mapping. MiCorps staff provides training and support to volunteers. The Michigan Lake and Stream Associations (MLSA) administers this program under MiCorps.
The Great Lakes Commission was selected by DEQ to assist in establishing MiCorps. The Commission is partnering with the Huron River Watershed Council to develop, implement and administer the program, under the direction of DEQ and with the advice of a steering committee.
For more information on the MiCorps program and to download a program brochure, please visit www.micorps.net.