Volunteers wanted for CRWC Adopt-a-Stream program - KMSP-TV

Volunteers wanted to help monitor water quality in rivers and streams

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Paint Creek in Lake Orion Paint Creek in Lake Orion
LAKE ORION, Mich. (WJBK) -

Paint Creek is a tributary of the Clinton River that starts in northern Oakland County and runs to Rochester. It's the last cold water stream in Southeast Michigan and a true gem with a self-sustaining trout population.

We visited the creek in Lake Orion with Michelle Arquette-Palermo, who is the program director for the Clinton River Watershed Council. She showed us how volunteers are trained to go out with nets and look for bugs to keep track of water quality.

"If you go out and take a phosphate test or a nitrogen test, it only tells you the story for that exact moment. What kind of bugs live in the bottom of the river tell you a longer term story, so that's why we want to collect the bugs," she said.

We found baby crayfish and several types of developing flies, which are signs the waterway is clean.

Volunteers go through a three hour training session, then go out bug hunting with an experienced team. The organization supplies all the equipment.

"We want volunteers to go out twice a year to monitor the first Saturday of May and again the first Saturday in October," Arquette-Palermo said.

Paint Creek is one of 55 sites that are part of the program in Macomb and Oakland counties. Other locations include Sterling Heights, Clarkston, Waterford and Mount Clemens.

Over the last seven years, hundreds of people have participated keeping tabs on our waterways over 760 square miles. Government agencies say they don't have the staff to do it alone.

"It's about getting involved in science in your own community, and we want people to have a vested interest in protection of our water resources," Arquette-Palermo said.

If you would like to take part in the Adopt-a-Stream program, it's easy to sign up. For more information, call (248) 601-0606 or visit www.crwc.org/programs/adoptastream/.

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