Signs promote teamwork to fight pollution
By Stephen Bitsoli
The Macomb Daily
Published July 5, 2006
The Macomb County Public Works Office and the Road Commission
of Macomb County will post 10 signs this year identifying
the Savan Drain and other tributaries as part of the Lake
St. Clair watershed
The signs will also contain the slogan, "Ours to
"We've had the ('Ours to Protect') program in effect
for the past two years," said Lynne Seymour, environmental
engineer for Macomb County Public Works. "We're trying
to build awareness that what's in the street will end
up in your lakes and rivers."
A watershed is any area that catches rain and melting
snow, which then drains or seeps into a body of water,
such as Lake St. Clair. The Lake St. Clair watershed extends
from parts of Harrison Township in the north to Grosse
Pointe Park in the south.
The Savan Drain sign is on Metropolitan Parkway just
east of Shoreline Drive in Harrison Township. Other signs
are planned for the Cottrell Drain, on the border of Harrison
Township and St. Clair Shores; the Fish Creek and Salt
River in Chesterfield Township; two spots along the Harrington
Drain in Clinton Township; the McBride Drain and the Gloede
Drain in Macomb Township; Coon Creek in Ray Township;
and the Yates Brach Drain in Washington Township.
Public Works also installed 10 signs last year along
the Clinton River. Individual communities are putting
up signs as well, including Sterling Heights, Warren and
Clinton Township. And in St. Clair Shores, volunteers
stencil warnings by the storm drains that point out that
what goes into the drains goes into the lake.
In Harrison Township, the Huron Pointe Homeowners Association
contacted Public Works about purchasing some of their
signs and putting them up themselves. "It's great
to have a neighborhood involved," Seymour said.
In addition to the signs, Macomb County Public Works
also makes recommendations, Seymour said, about "what
actions you can take to improve water quality. We try
to target what you can do at home." Best of all,
the steps shouldn't cost you money, and might even save
Among Macomb County Commissioner Anthony V. Marrocco's
suggestions are use less fertilizer, do not dump gasoline,
oil or other toxic fuels into the storm drains, and do
not drop litter in storm drains, rivers and lakes.
Macomb County Public Works is also a member of the Southeast
Michigan Partners for Clean Water, which was formed by
the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. The partnership
includes counties, communities, watershed councils, the
private sector, and water quality professionals throughout
The amount of rain may be a factor, but water quality
seems to have improved this year, Seymour said. Though
you can't judge based on one good year, at least there
have been fewer lake closings and the fish fly population
It is a hopeful sign however, as is the fact that "people
are taking more of an interest" in water quality.
"We're getting feedback from the community. They're
helping us to track down sources of pollution."
To report a polluter, call the Macomb County Public Works
hotline at (877) 679-4337. For more information on Southeast
Michigan Partners for Clean Water, visit www.semcog.org/ourstoprotect/ourstoprotect.htm
or call (313) 961-4266.