Two Rivers Coalition
*Monthly Meeting: 3rd Tuesday of the Month
Welcome! Explore and discover the Black and ..
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Learn what you can do to help protect and improve the wonderful resources in these watersheds. Learn about the Two Rivers Coalition, Inc., a citizen based group working to protect the health of the Black River and Paw Paw River Watersheds through conservation, education, and advocacy.
Our goal is to be your source of information about the Black and Paw Paw River Watersheds here in Southwest Michigan. We hope our web site will provide you with accurate and thought provoking information about these watersheds and the community we live in. We believe that an informed and engaged community is the key to making this one of the best places to live and play. Please look around and let us know if there is information that you would like for us to include on our web site. Looking for a specific topic? Try Search at the top of the page.
The Black and Paw Paw Rivers drain lands in Allegan, Berrien, Kalamazoo and Van Buren Counties. The Black River flows into Lake Michigan at South Haven. In Benton Harbor, the Paw Paw River flows into the St. Joseph River which then flows a short distance to Lake Michigan. Some say that the St. Joseph River is actually the Great South Branch of the Paw Paw River.
How will Climate Change Affect Southwest Michigan?
Attendees of the TRC 10th Annual Meeting on November 8, 2018 were treated to a highly informative and persuasive presentation by Dr. David Karowe of WMU. He explained the scientific evidence which absolutely establishes the dominant role humans are playing in the warming of the planet. He went on to explain what life will be like in the Great Lakes by the end of this century under two scenarios: business as usual (do nothing) or return to the Paris Climate Agreement. There will be rising summer and winter temps, earlier and more severe spring floods, more frequent and more intense rain events, and more severe late summer droughts. We could lose iconic tree species like White Pine and Sugar Maple. Bottom line is that if we do nothing different, by the end of the century we will not recognize the place we call Michigan. But, if we act quickly, we can still choose the type of planet we leave to future generations.
Click here to see the full presentation.
Learn more about the Paw Paw River Water Trail on their new website
Upcoming Events in 2019:
Oak Wilt Disease Here in SW Michigan?
July 22nd and 23rd
Three Times, Three Locations:
FREE workshop for all homeowners, arborists, & land managers.
Monday, July 22; 1:00pm-3:00pm Van Buren Conference Center, 490 S. Paw Paw St., Lawrence, MI 49064
Monday, July 22; 6:00pm-8:00pm Niles District Library, 620 E. Main Street, Niles, MI 49120
Tuesday, July 23; 9:30am-11:30am Cassopolis Public Library, 319 M-62, Cassopolis, MI 49031
Check-in is 30 minutes prior to listed times at which presentations promptly start! RSVP's are required as seating is limited. Call the following to RSVP your seat for your selected venue:
Van Buren Conference Center - AJ at 269-657-4030 x5
Niles District Library - Nancy at 269-471-9111 x3
Cassopolis Public Library - Korie at 269-445-8641 x5
OR online at www.OakWilt.Eventbrite.com
July 28, 2019 - Prairie Fen Paddle/Hike Trip
Co-sponsored with Michigan Nature Association
9:00am to Noon and 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Two Rivers Coalition’s - Prairie Fen Paddle Trip Sunday, July 28th , Trip 1: 9:00 AM-12:00 PM, Trip 2: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Come explore the flora and fauna of two prairie fens along the shores of Paw Paw Lake in Kalamazoo County. We will launch from the DNR public boat ramp off of Paw Paw Lake Drive and paddle the clear, placid Paw Paw Lake waters exploring the aquatic and shoreline vegetation as we make our way to two Michigan Nature Association (MNA) Sanctuaries. Both sanctuaries protect valuable prairie fen habitat in the headwaters of the East Branch of the Paw Paw River. The Palmer Sanctuary protects 22 acres along the east shore of the lake while the smaller Wilkie Sanctuary protects 3 acres of a larger 30 acre wetland complex along the northern edge of the lake. We will stop at each sanctuary and wander its wet sedge meadows, marl flats and mucky emergent habitats seeking out late summer flora and fauna. If time and conditions permit, we will paddle the open lake enjoying a summer day on one of the Paw Paw River Watersheds beautiful and lesser known lakes. Participation will be limited to minimize impact to the critical prairie fen habitat. To protect the rare flora and fauna these sanctuaries are not accessible to the public without MNA permission.
RSVP REQUIRED! Contact to sign up: Kevin Haight: 269-408-6262, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Directions- use hyperlink to open map to the launch site: DNR Public Boat Ramp Details
Other Details: - Bring a canoe, kayak or SUP along with a pfd. Boats are available for loan if you do not have one, but must be reserved in advance. - Bring sun protection, snacks and ample water for up to 4 hours of late summer exploring. - We will be hiking in wet (standing water), mucky soil with tall vegetation. Long, light weight pants tucked in water proof muck boots are ideal to protect the lower body. - If it is a hot summer day, a quick swim may be an irresistible way to finish off the trip.
Paddle with a Naturalist on the Paw Paw River
Saturday August 10th
Watervliet to Coloma
Come and join TRC for an easy float down a picturesque segment of the Paw Paw River accompanied by a naturalist guide. This is a great opportunity to learn about the floodplain ecosystem and the invasive species threats it faces. This paddle is co-sponsored by Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area SW x SW Corner.
Meet at the new Paw Paw River County Park (south bank of river in Watervliet) at 10:00 a.m. to drop off boats, stage vehicles downstream at Coloma Public Works access, and then carpool back to launch site. There is a universal access slide in launch facility at the county park but none at the Coloma take-out. There will be a short introduction to aquatic invasive species by the naturalist and we will try to be on the water by approximately 11:00 a.m. This is normally a 90 minute to 2 hour plus float.
Bring your own boat and PFD (wearing your PFD is required to be part of our group).
A limited number of loaner kayaks, paddles, and PFD's are available free of charge but MUST be reserved in advance by emailing Kenneth: TillWeDance@acd.net
OX CREEK CLEAN-UP
Saturday August 24
9:30 a.m. to Noon
Meet at Hall Park in Benton Harbor
Watch website and Facebook page for more details.
AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES WORKSHOP FOR PADDLERS
Saturday, September 7, 2019
9am-3pm Benton Harbor, MI – Paw Paw River Water Trail
Free workshop for paddlers! Join Michigan Sea Grant, Southwest Michigan Planning Commission, Two Rivers Coalition and SW x SW CISMA for MI Paddle Stewards, a one-day workshop to train community paddlers on Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) monitoring. Includes a free lunch and a guided paddle! For more information: email@example.com REGISTER here:
https://events.anr.msu.edu/MIPaddleStewardsBentonHarbor/ This workshop is funded by the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program www.michigan.gov/invasives
TRC BLACK RIVER PADDLE
Saturday Sept 14
Watch website and Facebook page for details.
Sunday October 6, 2019 - Fall Macroinvertebrate Collection
ID on Monday Oct 7th
Watch website and Facebook page for details.
November 7, 2019 - TRC 11th Annual Meeting
Van Buren Conference Center, Lawrence, MI
Watch website and Facebook page for more details
RISK vs REWARD:
Or Why Two Rivers Coalition is Calling for the Shutdown of Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac
At its July meeting, the TRC Board of Directors passed a resolution calling for the immediate shutdown of Line 5 which carries crude oil products under the Straits of Mackinac. My job is not to convince anyone of the correctness of this decision, but rather, to explain why we felt it was an appropriate action for a local environmental group to take. Remember, the mission of TRC is to…”protect the health of the Black River and Paw Paw River watersheds through conservation, education, and advocacy.” As a water quality organization, we believe it is just not enough to work to protect the water only until it runs into Lake Michigan.
Continue Reading Risk vs Reward (click on for full write-up)
Two Rivers Coalition Resolution Calling for Shutdown of Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac
IT IS RESOLVED THAT,
Because of Two Rivers Coalition’s paramount interest in protecting the waters of the State of Michigan and the entire Great Lakes Basin to which the Paw Paw River and Black River flow, and because the potential risk to those waters from a spill or leak from the sixty-four year old Line 5 pipelines under the Straits of Mackinac is potentially catastrophic in terms of both environmental and economic damage, and because the risks of such a catastrophe far outweigh any short-term benefits to the people of the State of Michigan from continued transportation of crude oil products through Line 5,
THEREFORE, Two Rivers Coalition calls upon elected state and federal governmental representatives and relevant regulatory entities to immediately shut down Line 5.
Adopted July 12, 2017
About Enbridge Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac
JUNE 26, 2017
Watch the Oil & Water Don't Mix video presentation about Enbridge Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac.
Also, here is a link to a site about Line 5 run by the State of Michigan:
You can submit a comment to the State of Michigan about Line 5 from either of these websites.
Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program
ATTENTION: Due to high water levels, the May 5 volunteer macroinvertebrate collection has been postponed until Sunday May 19.
Sunday May 19- Volunteer Stream Monitoring/Macroinvertebrate Collection
Congratulations to Two Rivers Coalition and Van Buren Conservation District on being award the MiCorps Michigan Volunteer Stream Monitoring Grant for 2014. The start-up grant was for $2,923 to establish a macroinvertebrate monitoring program along the middle section of the Paw Paw River watershed, which is a tributary to the St. Joseph River. For more information go to Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) Program
2016 Fall Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program Macroinvertebrate Collection
Paw Paw River & Black River Watersheds
Volunteer Stream Monitoring Program Morning Training & Collection
Sunday, October 2, 2016, Lawrence River Park, Van Buren County
Volunteers gathered together at 9am to learn about the Volunteer Steam Monitoring Program and Insect Collections in the Paw Paw and Black River Watershed, Van Buren County. Two Rivers Coalition and Van Buren Conservation District introduced their board members and staff and gave a short update of their organization.
Individuals were divided into six teams, assigned a team leader and sent off to their designated locations with the proper equipment.
Read more...Volunteer Stream Monitoring Article PDF
Are you into horror flicks? Here is one that will make your blood run cold: Oil and Water
Hydraulic Fracturing or "Fracking" - TRC"s Endorsement to Ban in Michigan
Motion - August 12, 2015 Board Meeting: TRC officially endorses petition to ban fracking in Michigan because of potential threat to ground water and surface water resources in Michigan.
The ballot summary on the circulating petition is:
An initiation of legislation to prohibit the use of horizontal hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” and acid completion treatments of horizontal gas and oil wells; to prohibit emission, production, storage, disposal, and processing of frack and acidizing wastes created by gas and oil well operations; to eliminate the state’s policy favoring ultimate recovery of maximum production of oil and gas; to protect water resources, land, air, climate, and public health; and to allow residents to enforce the provisions of this ballot language, by amending Public Act 451 of 1994 entitled “Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act,” by amending section 61528, 61529 and 61530.
The Story of Bottled Water(Click for Video)