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State is accepting suggestions for water monitoring sites

Green algae in a lake
Elizabeth Miller/Ideastream
The state's water monitoring can assess sediment chemistry, contaminants in fish or macroinvertebrate communities, algae growth and E. coli bacteria, among other issues.

As part of Michigan’s strategy to improve water quality, the state is seeking public input on areas to focus water monitoring efforts for 2023.

Every year, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy - or EGLE - targets monitoring resources on different watersheds.

Every five years, officials will have covered the entire state and cycle through the watersheds again. But if residents have concerns about contamination in specific bodies of water they can submit them for consideration.

Lee Schoen is an aquatic biologist with EGLE. Although the state has its plan, he said, public monitoring requests help identify areas that might need more testing.

“There's certain parts of our monitoring strategy that this process helps support," Schoen said. "If the public is observing some physical, observable pollution, those tend to score higher on our priorities’ list.”

The 2023 monitoring plan will cover Northwest Michigan, the Thumb, Lake St. Clair, and a few inland watersheds.

EGLE is accepting suggestions for monitoring locations anywhere in the state until October 30th.

Teresa Homsi is an environmental reporter and Report for America Corps Member based in northern Michigan for WCMU. She covers rural environmental issues, focused on contamination, conservation, and climate change.