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E-M:/ public meeting in Paw Paw River Watershed

Enviro-Mich message from Marcy Colclough <marcydolphin@yahoo.com>

River Organization Hosts Public Meeting

Friends of the St. Joe River Association-- in
partnership with Southwestern Michigan Commission, Van
Buren Conservation District, and Southwest Michigan
Land Conservancy-- is hosting a public meeting on
Wednesday, November 17 from 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm at
the Van Buren Intermediate School District in
Lawrence, MI.  The VBISD is located at 490 South Paw
Paw Street.  

The public meeting will provide interested citizens
with an overview of the ongoing St. Joseph River
Watershed management planning project and focus on the
Paw Paw River watershed in particular.  The Paw Paw
River watershed, which is one of the most ecologically
diverse areas remaining in Southwest Michigan, has
been designated a critical area for preservation
efforts by the St. Joseph River Watershed Management
Plan Steering Committee.  The Paw Paw River watershed
encompasses roughly 390 square miles and includes the
communities of Benton Harbor, Gobles, Mattawan,
Lawton, Lawrence, Watervliet, Coloma, Paw Paw, and
Hartford.   Representatives from all partnering
organizations will be on hand to answer questions and
gauge public interest in the development of a
watershed management plan for the Paw Paw River
system.  Watershed planning brings together numerous
local, state, and federal agencies and the public to
ensure the long-term protection of water resources.  

This public meeting is directed at residential
property owners, commercial property owners, municipal
officials, and other members of the public who have an
interest in the long term protection of natural
resources in the Paw Paw River watershed.  

Friends of the St. Joe River Association, a nonprofit
established in 1994 by Athens, MI residents Al and
Margaret Smith for the purpose of cleaning and
restoring the river and its tributaries, is the
recipient of a two-year Clean Water Act Section 319
watershed management planning grant for the St. Joseph
River Watershed.  The purpose of the grant is to help
local stakeholders identify non point sources of
pollution that impair water quality and work
collaboratively to formulate strategies to address
those sources.  This large watershed spreads out over
15 counties in southwestern Lower Michigan and
northwestern Indiana, drains 4,685 square miles, and
contains some of the nation?s best salmon, trout,
walleye, and bass fishing.  The St. Joseph River
begins at Baw Beese Lake near Hillsdale and flows over
210 miles before emptying out into Lake Michigan at
the City of St. Joseph.  

For further information, please call 269-349-0984 or
email fotsjr@core.com.  
For more information on non point source pollution,
visit <http://www.epa.gov/owow/nps/>.  
For more information on the St. Joseph River and the
watershed management plan project, visit

Marcy Colclough
Home: (269) 637-5949
Work:  Southwestern Michigan Commission   
(269) 925-1137 x25    colcloughm@swmicomm.org

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