Letter: The Rogue River Watershed Partners: Who, what, and you?

Our mission statement is:  “to protect, preserve, and promote” the Rogue River and its watershed. Living up to these goals and translating them into action has never felt more urgent.

Residents of this area, whether members of the RRWP or not, likely agree that “protecting, preserving, and promoting” this watershed is necessary and obvious. Most people and organizations have already been making changes in their habits and ways of doing business in order to do less harm, to the environment. It’s also obvious that we must continue to “do better” as we learn to
“know better.”

At this time, there are at least two major concerns that threaten the health of this watershed:

First, there is the regular reporting of newly discovered contamination sites, as well as ever moving, chemical containing, ground-water plumes, that continue to move slowly to, and through, individual and municipal well-fields. And, these plumes are moving towards the Rogue and the Grand Rivers. We, in the southern part of this watershed, find ourselves in the middle of an
environmental nightmare.

Thankfully, “ordinary” citizens came together to investigate and find contamination sites, used by Wolverine World Wide, and possibly, others. And, “ordinary” citizens are now vigorously advocating for residents most directly affected by the contaminated drinking water and are demanding that state and local government officials respond to this crisis in effective, efficient ways. We admire the persistence and dedication of these citizens, and owe them our gratitude.

Second, the evidence is clear that stronger and more frequent rain events have become part of our climate and our weather. More flooding is inevitable. To quote a RRWP member who has compiled data about this for years: “Flooding is a big deal for the minority of us, but a concern the majority of us should share in prevention”.

Individual land-owners, homeowners, city officials, and businesses can ALL be part of reducing  the run-off that leads to flooding in our watershed!  RRWP has information, programs, hands-on recommendations and funding possibilities that can assist homeowners, property owners, and business owners, to do something proactively, about run-off.

If you, as an individual, a business owner, or as a local government agency, want to become part of the solution to the many challenges we face in this watershed, consider attending one of our monthly meetings, or, support us by becoming a member, or, watch for upcoming events on our FB page, and tune in to a new and improved web-site in the near future.

We look forward to seeing you, soon.

Gretchen Zuiderveen, President, RRWP Robert Schirado, Vice President, RRWP

You’re invited to a delicious complimentary dinner and Conservation Showcase!

Description:  This special event will help landowners learn more about the many conservation practice resources available to Kent County residents and bring attention to how agricultural producers are caring for the land. There will be a fun, interactive panel discussion on conservation practices and the value of the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program.  The program will be followed by a special Regional Conservation Partnership Program announcement on how landowners in the Rogue River and Indian Mill Creek Watershed can take advantage of an additional $2.8 million in available funding for best management practices to improve wildlife habitat and water quality on the lower Grand River.

Date: Thursday, March 22nd from 6-8pm. The doors open and dinner will be served at 5:30pm

Location: Grand Rapids Charter Township Hall: 1836 East Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525 (Across from the Knapp Meijer).

Cost: FREE!

Walk-ins welcome but please signup on Eventbrite or contact the office at (616) 222-5801 or administrator@kentconservation.org if you plan on enjoying dinner.