In November of 2002 individuals from across the State of Michigan gathered at Michigan River Network’s (MRN) annual meeting to learn how to use the Clean Water Act in their water resource protection work.Gayle Killam, the director of river protection and restoration for the national group River Network, was our featured speaker. Gayle facilitated a one-day workshop that covered what citizens can do at the state and local levels to play important roles in protecting our waters through knowledge of the Clean Water Act, the pollution permitting processes involved, and state regulations that currently affect Michigan’s waters. Participants were given copies of River Network’s publications “The Clean Water Act, An Owner’s Manual” and “Permitting an End to Pollution”.
“Considering all the political and legislative activity surrounding wetlands, the timing of this workshop was perfect”, said one participant.“I learned about the Clean Water Act standards, and was surprised to find out how limited some of the pollution permits are.”
After a half-day workshop discussion during the business part of the meeting, the MRN participants made a big decision – they voted to start the process of moving MRN into a bigger realm – one that would make it an official coalition with dues-paying and voting members. “This would be an organization that would meet regularly and be collectively active on issues affecting our rivers, creeks, and streams”, said Scott McEwen, the Director of Michigan River Network. More work-session meetings are planned in the near future to iron out the details of this exciting expansion!