Monthly Archives: April 2015

Michigan Volunteer River, Stream and Creek Cleanup Program

The Michigan Volunteer River, Stream and Creek Cleanup Grant Program (VRSCCP) began in 1998. This program provides small grants to local units of government to help implement volunteer cleanup efforts of rivers, streams and creeks to improve the waters in Michigan. Funds are specifically to pay for the cleanup and removal of trash and debris from rivers and streams and along their banks. Grant funds awarded under the program can pay for such items as disposal costs, hand tools, supplies, refreshments, and other volunteer appreciation materials for volunteers. Local units of government are eligible to apply for and receive funding and may, in turn, work with nonprofit organizations and grassroots groups to conduct the actual cleanup efforts.

Funding is provided from citizen donations collected through fees associated with the sale of Michigan’s Water Quality Protection License Plates under Public Act 74 of 2000. By law, these funds are to be used for water quality protection in Michigan Great Lakes, inland lakes, rivers, and streams.

The VRSCCP is managed by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and is administered under contract by the Great Lakes Commission (GLC). The DEQ works cooperatively with the GLC staff, providing overall direction for the program. The DEQ makes the final grant award decisions under the VRSCCP. Additionally, DEQ staff provides advice and assistance to volunteers on technical issues and considerations for the proposed projects.
NEW Volunteer River, Stream and Creek Cleanup Program Factsheet

Funding Process and Awarding of Grants

The grant application period for the 2015 grant cycle has now ended. Please check back in December for more information on the 2016 grant cycle. Future grant applicants may view the 2015 Grant Application Package as a resource to read more about the application process.

Annually (typically around mid-January), a Grant Application Package (GAP) is issued for the VRSCCP Grants. Information contained in the GAP is based on existing DEQ guidance, and indicates the total amount of funding available for a given fiscal year. Currently a total of $25,000 is available annually for cleanup grants.

Upon receipt of grant applications, the GLC, in conjunction with DEQ administrative staff, review and assess the merits of each proposed project. After funding decisions are made, the GLC requests a final workplan from each grantee. Upon approval of the workplan, the contract letter is sent to the grantee indicating the amount of the grant award and the terms of agreement between the grantee and the GLC for implementation of the project. The DEQ and the GLC reserve the right to remove parts of proposed projects which do not meet the program criteria as specified in the GAP, or which otherwise might impair water quality.

Cleanup projects can occur anytime after the award of the grant, but must be completed before the end of that year’s specific project completion deadline. Final reports are due within 30 days of project completion date. Communities are strongly encouraged to continue these volunteer projects in subsequent years. Many communities have expressed that their volunteers develop a clearer sense of what a watershed is, a connection to their watershed and a greater understanding of how their individual actions can help or cause harm to their watershed, and a sense of “pride of place and community.”

Thirteen projects were awarded stream cleanup grants for FY 2015. For further information on these grants, please visit


Contact Laura Kaminski at

© Great Lakes Commission | 2805 S. Industrial Hwy Suite 100 Ann Arbor, MI 48104-6791 | Directions

tel: 734-971-9135 | fax: 734-971-9150 |

Kayak Classes

River Kayaking

Students in this class learn the fundamentals of safely paddling moving water and whitewater rivers. Two Tuesday class sessions will be held in the classroom and the pool, focusing on safety skills, water reading, river paddling maneuvers, and trip planning. The third class will be an all-day trip to a Michigan river with light rapids suitable for practicing skills learned in the pool. Students taking this course should have taken Kayaking I &II or the equivalent. Graduates of this class will have the foundation needed to continue practicing their skills by joining local club trips!
6:30 – 9:30 pm. $110. Tuesdays April 28, May 5; river trip Saturday May 9.

Also, new dates added at Mason High School pool through Mason Community Education!

Kayaking I: Paddle Safe, Paddle Right

This three-session course will introduce you to kayaking in a safe and warm environment and help you develop basic skills and safety awareness. You will learn about boats and gear, what to do in case of a capsize, and how to maneuver your boat with basic strokes.

6:00 – 9:00 pm. $84. Thursdays May 7, 14, 21.

Kayaking II: Tipping, Staying Upright, & Rolling
This two evening course is for students with some kayaking experience who want to work on recovery skills (balance, edging, and braces) and learn how to roll. 6:00 – 9:00 pm. $58. Thursdays June 4, 11.

Registration for the East Lansing class is through this email or 517-333-9716.

Registration for the Mason HS classes is through Mason Community Education, by calling 244-6416 or online at

Thanks for supporting the LAINST pool class program!