Nate introduced his daughter-in-law who has a degree in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Wisconsin. Katie is an Outreach Coordinator for the River Raisin Watershed Council (RRWC) and she and her hubby live in Dundee.
Katie said that the council’s executive and other committees are comprised of 63 individuals each of which represent a different municipality within the watershed. Corporate sponsors help underwrite the costs of events put on by the RRWC. The watershed is the size of Rhode Island! It starts up by the Brooklyn/Irish Hills area (the “headwaters”) and flows (very crookedly that is) down into Monroe and then out into Lake Erie, Katie said. The River Raisin itself is about 140 miles in length. The Guinness Book of World Records lists it as “The world’s crookest river”!
"The council really wants to spread the word about the river", Katie said. The RRWC goes to various events throughout the year to promote their efforts and enlighten people about the watershed. Such venues include: the Lenawee County Fair, the Great Outdoor Jamboree, the annual Art-A-Licious, Family Fall Celebration in Adrian, the Wampler’s Lake Boat Wash and the Washtenaw County Clean-Up Day.
The council, Katie said, participates in numerous river cleanups among which was our recent one at Trestle Park. The council also worked along the river near Wacker Chemical freeing up log jams. They work to remove invasive species in Dundee with the help of the Boys and Girl Scouts, Stewardship Network – all in an effort to make for a healthy environment.
Katie said that there are four regions in the watershed and meetings are going on all the time with representatives from each area to catch up on what they are doing. They have a program called “Adopt a Stream”. The council has identified and marked 22 such sites along the river from which bugs are collected. They are aquatic insects that live on the bottom of the river and tell a lot about the quality of the water in terms of level of pollution, degree of oxygen present, etc., she said/
Katie concluded her presentation by speaking about the signage that are posted on numerous road crossings in order to reduce littering, the Discover the Raisin $200 scholarship, the work the Blissfield Rotary Club was doing to help Frank Baker on his property and the items at the Clinton Arts Center some of which raise money for the council.