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E-M:/ Volunteer River Cleanup Grants for Local Units of Government Available

Enviro-Mich message from "Scott McEwen" <scott@watershedcouncil.org>


The Michigan River Network and the Michigan Department of Environmental
Quality are pleased to announce the availability of small grants to help
local units of government* fund the volunteer cleanup of Michigan’s rivers
and streams.  The Michigan Legislature recently approved $25,000 to be used
in 2002 by Michigan governmental agencies for this important initiative.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for local units of government to receive
funding to improve their environment in a tangible way,” stated Scott McEwen
of the Michigan River Network, a program of Tip of the Mitt Watershed
Council. Monies are earmarked specifically to pay for the cleanup of trash
and debris removal from rivers and streams.  The grants can pay for such
items as disposal costs, hand tools, supplies, refreshments, and promotional
materials for volunteers, but cannot pay for staff time. The governmental
units that apply for and receive funding may, in turn, work with grassroots
groups and individuals to do the actual cleanup effort.

Grants will be made in amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000, depending on
applicant needs.  “We’ve tried to structure this program so grant money will
quickly and efficiently get into our communities to directly benefit our
rivers and streams,” stated Sharon Baker of the Michigan Department of
Environmental Quality’s Surface Water Quality Division.

Applicants must either be a unit of government such as a county, city,
township, conservation district, etc.  Applicants will be required to
provide a 25% local match of the total project cost.

The application deadline is June 21, 2002.  To receive a grant application,
call Debbie Messer at (231) 347-1181 ext. 107, or e-mail her at:

*A local unit of government means any of the following: a county, city,
village, or township; an agency of a county, city, village, or township; the
office of a county drain commissioner; a soil conservation district; a
watershed council established under part 311 of the natural resources and
environmental protection act; a local health department; a community college
or junior college; or a 4-year institution of high education, public or
private, located in this state. [MCL 257.811(i)(5)].  Local units of
government may partner with volunteer organizations to carry out the

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