Michigan is blessed with an abundance of fresh water, more than any other state. We have access to four Great Lakes; Michigan, Superior, Huron and Erie. Running through our state we have approximately 51,438 miles of river, of which 656 miles are designated as wild and scenic.
Yet, in our capital city our waterways were under threat. There may be no greater example than with our Grand River, our state's largest river at 252 miles.
Less than two miles from our state's capital building there were terrible examples of water pollution and stretches of river that had been allowed to worsen for years. So bad, areas were often difficult and some times dangerous to navigate. It was hard to imagine how such conditions were allowed to exist 50 years after the enactment of the Clean Water Act and during the year Governor Whitmer declared as the Year of Clean Water.
Our rivers' conditions were so bad, it led to our creating Michigan Waterways Stewards. A registered non-profit dedicated to caring, protecting and improving our treasured and vulnerable waterways.
With the support of local business and industry, schools and churches, social and civic clubs, passionate individuals, and local government, river-wide obstructions were removed, large pools of pollution cleared, and miles of river and river trails cleaned. Lansing are rivers were transformed. We now present the most scenic, varied, and pleasant urban waterways experience in Michigan.
To learn more about the Red Cedar River Cleanup, click here.
To learn more about the Kalamazoo River Cleanup click here.