The first step of this long-term project involves creating informational and educational materials that will be distributed to landowners in the Upper Pine River Watershed (mostly upstream of the City of Alma).
The next phase involves working with the health department to update records of septic systems using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology and digitizing hard-copies of existing data. This will be used, along with other scientific data, to create a proposal that will be presented to potential partners, grantors & funders to gather support for Phase II of the project.
Phase II of this long-term project will involve a revolving loan system of replacing failing septic systems similar to the sustainable model developed in Bay County, a canine source tracking study similar to what has been used in Clinton & Shiawassee Counties as well as on the Chippewa Indian Reservation, and continued education & outreach.
This project has been made possible by a grant through the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network (WIN). WIN is a volunteer organization that includes more than 90 citizens and organizations and focusses on opportunities to better link the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing of Saginaw Bay communities in order to sustain and improve the region’s quality of life.
Twelve area foundations and corporations work together as a Network to financially support WIN projects. This Funders Network includes: Bay Area Community Foundation, Consumers Energy Foundation, Harry A. and Margaret D. Towsley Foundation, Midland Area Community Foundation, Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, Saginaw Community Foundation, The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, The S.C. Johnson Fund, the Cook Family Foundation, the C.S. Mott Foundation, and the Saginaw Bay Foundation.
More information about WIN is available on its website at www.saginawbaywin.org
For more information, stop into the office in the USDA Service Center at 301 E. Commerce Drive in Ithaca. You can also call the office at 989-875-3900 Ext 115 or email us at GratiotConservationDistrict@gmail.com