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E-M:/ DEQ Press Release - Michigan Clean Water Corps conference being held Oct. 29

Enviro-Mich message from "Matt Doss" <mdoss@glc.org>

October 17, 2005

Contact:  Robert McCann
          (517) 241-7397

New Michigan Clean Water Corps Builds on Citizen Volunteer Efforts 
First Annual Statewide Conference to be Held October 29, 2005, on Higgins

Volunteer monitors from across the state are coming together on October 29,
for the first annual conference of Michigan's new Clean Water Corps
volunteer monitoring program.  The Michigan Clean Water Corps - or "MiCorps"
- is a network of volunteer monitoring programs created by Governor Jennifer
M. Granholm to assist the Department of Environmental Quality in collecting
and sharing water quality data to protect and manage Michigan's lakes and

"Michigan's citizens care deeply about our water resources as evidenced by
these volunteers who invest their time and energy into keeping watch over
our rivers, lakes, and streams," said DEQ Director Steven E. Chester.  "With
the Clean Water Corps program, we are tapping into this energy and putting
the data the volunteers collect to good use in supporting state programs
that protect our waters."

The conference, being held at the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center on
Higgins Lake, will introduce volunteer monitors to the new MiCorps program;
provide hands-on training in monitoring methodologies and data management
procedures; show how volunteers can use their data to support local water
quality protection efforts; and help leaders recruit volunteers and raise
funds for local programs.  DEQ staff will review trends in water quality in
Michigan's lakes and rivers and discuss how the state uses volunteer water
monitoring data.

The conference is open to all interested parties and is intended for
volunteer monitoring program leaders, citizen volunteers, water resource
professionals, and others interested in the health of Michigan's rivers,
lakes, and streams.

The conference program and registration form are available online at
http://www.micorps.net/conference.  The conference registration deadline is
October 21.

MiCorps brings together volunteer monitors under a single umbrella and
provides key services for volunteers, including a comprehensive Web site
(www.micorps.net) containing monitoring methods and other information, an
Internet-based platform for exchanging monitoring data, a directory of
volunteer monitoring programs in Michigan, an e-mail list for sharing ideas,
training workshops for volunteer monitors, the annual conference, and a
newsletter to report on volunteer monitoring activities across the state.

For more information on the October 29, conference or the MiCorps, visit the
MiCorps Web site, or contact Matt Doss or Ric Lawson at the Great Lakes
Commission at 734-971-9135, or at mdoss@glc.org or rlawson@glc.org,


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