Watershed Center Receives Grant for Green Infrastructure in Traverse City

Last month’s heavy rain cause much of Kid’s Creek in Traverse City to flood.

When the creek starts to flood inconsistently it can be dangerous to the water’s ecosystem.

Michigan Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy Non-point Source Unit Supervisor, Bob Day, says, “The water comes off so fast that the flows become a lot more rapid steams. They go up and down much faster and that causes stream bank erosion.”

Now EGLE is granting almost $750,000 to the Watershed Center, Grand Traverse Bay to put in new green infrastructure to regulate heavy flow into the creek.

They’re partnering with Meijer to redo their whole parking lot draining system.

Watershed Center program supervisor, Sarah U’Ren says, “I mean if you think about it… Meijer has a huge parking lot and whenever it rains all of that water runs into storm drains and it goes into Kid’s creek. So what this will do is help infiltrate of that storm water into the ground before it can reach Kid’s Creek.”C3b6fbec 6e16 4a01 B5db Fce1953583d2

The grant will also go towards regulating bacteria levels at Mitchell Creek.

“We’ve seen that there have been high bacteria counts of E. coli,” says U’Ren.

But their biggest concern is finding where the bacteria is coming from.

Day says, “Part of their grant is to do some water quality monitoring and identity where and if there are failing onsite septic systems that might be contributing pollutants to Mitchell Creek.”

For the next year these projects will be in the planning phases. But the Watershed Center says they’re going to start frequently checking water quality levels at Mitchell Creek.