Contact:
Shelli DiFranco
The Watershed Center
sdifranco@gtbay.org
231.935.1514 ext. 5
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

THE WATERSHED CENTER TO HOST COMMUNITY MEETINGS ON WATERSHED PROTECTION PLAN

MEETINGS WILL BE HELD IN ANTRIM, GRAND TRAVERSE, AND LEELANAU COUNTIES

 

TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan – June 15, 2018 – The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay will host three community meetings to discuss updating The Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Plan with a focus on shoreline communities. The meetings are free and open to all residents, business owners, and visitors.

The meetings will be held:

  • Thursday, June 28: 6-7pm at the Suttons Bay-Bingham District Library, 416 Front Street, Suttons Bay
  • Thursday, July 12: 6-7pm at the Woodmere Library’s McGuire Room, 610 Woodmere Avenue, Traverse City
  • Thursday, July 19: 6-7pm at the Historic Elk Rapids Town Hall, 401 River Street, Elk Rapids

“We are excited to be updating this critical watershed document,” said Christine Crissman, executive director of The

Watershed Center. “The current plan was last revised in 2005 and much has changed in the watershed in the last 13 years. From development to the impacts of climate change, we need to take a current look at our water quality conditions and identify opportunities and threats we need to focus on.”

The revised Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Plan will have a stronger focus on shoreline communities in Antrim, Grand Traverse, and Leelanau counties. The Boardman River and Elk River Chain of Lakes sub-watershed plans are nearing completion and will also be incorporated into the Grand Traverse Bay plan. The Watershed Center staff have been collecting and analyzing water quality data from throughout the watershed as part of their work.

During the community meetings, attendees will hear from The Watershed Center staff about the current plan, progress made thus far in updating it, and have their chance to provide input on the new plan. In addition to the community meetings, The Watershed Center is planning on online form that residents, business owners, and visitors are encouraged to participate in to share their thoughts on watershed priorities and concerns. The form will be available later this summer and will be posted on The Watershed Center’s website and Facebook page.

“Updating the Watershed Protection Plan is important for the overall environmental and economic health of our region,” said David Mengebier, president and CEO of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation. “Grand Traverse Bay is a cornerstone to our community and we need to understand the current and future threats to it to ensure we are doing all we can to protect it.”

These updates to the Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Plan were made possible by funding from the Community Foundation Land Use & Conservation Planning Endowment, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and individual donations. The final plan is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

 

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The Watershed Center is a non-profit organization that advocates for clean water in Grand Traverse Bay and acts to protect and preserve its 1,000-square mile watershed, which covers portions of Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Antrim, and Kalkaska counties. Learn more at www.gtbay.org.

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