Muskegon River Watershed Assembly Awarded EGLE Conservation, Education Grant

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) recently announced 18 grants totaling $600,000 for projects that will support watershed organizations with conservation and educational efforts. The Watershed Council Support grants are funded under Michigan’s Public Act 166 of 2020, and a total of 69 applications requesting approximately $2.4 million were received in response to the request for proposals. These grants are issued by EGLE’s Nonpoint Source Program, which helps local stakeholders reduce pollution and excess runoff by supporting efforts to develop and launch watershed management plans.

The Muskegon River Watershed Assembly (MRWA) secured a $40,000.00 EGLE Watershed Council Support Program grant this week. Principal Watershed Scientist Marty Holtgren explains: “The goal of this MRWA project is to update the Muskegon River Watershed Plan (MRWMP) with dam impacts for temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO), macroinvertebrates, and habitat. This project will involve conducting water quality and MiCorps (macroinvertebrate/ habitat) monitoring at 14 watershed dams to evaluate impacts to aquatic life and develop solutions for improving pollution that dams cause.”

The projects funded by the EGLE funding ranged from detection and control of aquatic invasive species and support of boat cleaning stations; supporting watershed management planning; coordinating water quality monitoring among local units of government in a watershed; and supporting farm-based conservation planning.

The location of dams for the MRWA proposal includes 10 from Newaygo and Muskegon counties and four upstream in Mecosta and Osceola counties. “We are pleased to now have the opportunity and resources we need as an organization to deepen our scientific understanding of the watershed and to begin to offer better informed solutions to multiple Michigan counties and townships” stated Scott Faulkner, Executive Director of the MRWA. “We will continue to do our best to keep the people and municipalities of the watershed informed and engaged, always seeking to balance environmental solutions with the economic realities we all face in rural counties.”

To see the entire list of organizations receiving funding, please go to: