WATER QUALITY & STORMWATER
Living in Michigan, water is everywhere we turn. The State of Michigan contains over 3,000 miles of shoreline, 36,000 miles of flowing water, and over 11,000 inland lakes. The Muskegon Conservation District is here to protect all of your water resource needs. The District has been involved in multiple aspects of water resource protection ranging in activities from stream monitoring, to aquatic organism identification, and shoreline restorations.
The District has the ability to work with local landowners, municipalities, and government entities to tackle local watershed issues. The District has worked to acquire a highly qualified staff as well as the required tools to have the ability to solve the issues that come your way. Protecting the quality of the water resources is the responsibility of everyone who depends on and utilizes those resources and whether it be sustainably reinforcing the eroding shoreline at your cabin, putting the end to algal bloom on your farm pond, or assessing the health of the local trout stream, the District is here to help. For more information on how the District can help you, please contact our office.
Stormwater runoff is generated when precipitation from rain and snowmelt flows over land or impervious surfaces and does not percolate into the ground. Water flowing off of construction sites, agricultural fields, lawns, roofs, parking lots, and roads pick up pollutants like soil particles, petroleum products, pesticides, herbicides, pathogens, and heat; carrying pollutants to rivers, streams and lakes. This in turn degrades water quality and aquatic habitat, sometimes rendering surface water unsafe for human contact and unfit for aquatic life.
Starting in the 1990s, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started issuing NPDES permits for storm water discharges including municipal separate storm sewer systems (MS4s). Permitted entities are responsible for a number of factors to mitigate and minimize stormwater impacts such as tracking and removing illicit discharges, educating the public on stormwater issues, implementing low impact design, and adopting ordinances to decrease stormwater impacts. The Cities of Muskegon, Norton Shores, Muskegon Heights, and Roosevelt Park as well as Muskegon County Drain Commissioner and County Road Commission, have teamed up to form the Muskgeon Area Municipal Stormwater Committee (MAMSWC) to tackle these issues on a watershed wide basis. Since the founding of this group, the Muskegon Conservation District has worked with local stakeholders to play a vital role in helping permitted entities go above and beyond permit requirements whether it be designing and installing rain gardens or developing stormwater ordinances, The District has been able to work with permittees to accomplish the task at hand.