Who We Are
The Upper Grand River Watershed Alliance is a coalition of municipalities, agencies, businesses and individuals in the headwaters region of the Grand River, Michigan's longest river, working together to protect and restore the river, its lakes, streams, and wetlands.
In 2003, communities and nonprofit agencies, from across the watershed, came together and developed a Watershed Management Plan for the Upper Grand River. One of the recommendations in that Plan was the creation of an umbrella organization to address water quality and land use issues that cross political boundaries. The Upper Grand River Watershed Council was formed initially, under Michigan's Local River Management Act. In 2008, the Watershed Council changed to a Watershed Alliance, under Michigan's Watershed Alliance Act, providing non-profit status.
The Alliance is a partnership of many different groups all working to one end: restoring the river to meet water quality standards and to provide quality habitat and recreation.
The Jackson Urban Area Phase II Stormwater Committee is made up of Jackson County, the City of Jackson, and Blackman and Leoni Townships. These communities own and operate Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), and so are regulated by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). Each of these communities is required to inspect their storm sewer systems to ensure that they carry only storm water, provide public education about storm water and water quality, and work to improve storm water treatment.
The Jackson County Wellhead Protection Committee is a group of municipalities working together to protect the quality of their drinking water. They have delineated the areas that contribute groundwater to their municipal wells, are working to close abandoned wells to prevent contamination, and are in various stages of developing additional Wellhead Protection Plans.
Because the river is fed by both stormwater runoff from surface sources and groundwater, and because there is great deal of overlap in the methods used to protect either surface water or groundwater, these groups meet and work together for water quality improvement.