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:
OX CREEK CLEAN-UP
Saturday August 24
9:30 a.m. to Noon
Meet at Hall Park in Benton Harbor
Two Rivers Coalition, the Benton Harbor Sunrise and the St. Joseph – Benton Harbor Rotary Clubs, Interfaith Action Great Waters Initiative and the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission are organizing a cleanup of the Ox Creek Watershed.
The cleanup will begin at Hall Park in Benton Harbor (on Highland between Valley Drive and S Hull Avenue) at 9:30 am and work until 12:00 p.m. Volunteers are welcome to join us after the cleanup for lunch (on your own) at The Livery in Benton Harbor to celebrate.
Register here… https://swmichinterfaith.org/great-waters
We ask all volunteers to bring a reusable water bottle and bug spray. Please wear appropriate clothing for bugs and weather, including, study shoes, layers, and work gloves.
Learn more about Ox Creek at www.SustainOxCreek.org and www.Facebook.com/SustainOxCreek.
Also learn more about the event sponsors. Two Rivers Coalition at www.TwoRiversCoalition.org, Benton Harbor Sunrise Rotary at https://www.bhsunriserotary.org/, St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Rotary at http://www.sjbhrotary.org/, Southwest Michigan Planning Commission at www.swmpc.org and Interfaith Action Great Waters Initiative – https://swmichinterfaith.org/great-waters.
Please note that we only need about 30 volunteers for this. If we fill up, I encourage folks to participate in the upcoming Jean Klock Park clean up – details here
Paddle with a Naturalist at Jeptha Lake Fen Preserve
Jeptha Lake Fen, Grand Junction
Thursday, August 29, 3 – 5 pm
Join Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, Van Buren Conservation District,and the SWxSW Corner CISMA for a paddle on peaceful Lower Jeptha Lake. Jeptha Lake Fen Preserve is a special place, and CISMA and SWMLC staff are excited to discuss this important peatland and its unique plant life. The CISMA will also cover invasive species and how we, as paddlers, can help stop their spread.
We’ll start on the southern side of the lake where 48 1/2 Street dead ends, paddle to the preserve on the opposite side for a short hike, then return to the road end. Please bring your own boat and PFD, as well as plenty of water and sunscreen!
Even though this is a free event, it’s helpful for us to know how many people will be there. Please call the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy office at 269-324-1600 to let us know that you are coming.
From Downtown Kalamazoo:
Follow West Main St. (M-43) west out of town and drive for approximately 18.5 miles. Turn right (north) onto Co. Rd. 665 and go for about 2 miles. Turn left (west) onto 24th Ave., travel another 3.3 miles, and turn right (north) onto 48 1/2 St. After half a mile, the road will dead end at our paddle launch point on Lower Jeptha Lake.
LAWRENCE COMMUNITY PADDLE- Sat Aug 31
is inviting you to its community paddle!
When: Saturday, August 31, 2019.
Where: Paw Paw River. We will launch at the bridge at 48th Ave. and paddle 4.5 river miles to Lawrence.
Time: We will launch at 9 am.
*Please bring your own kayaks and canoes as rentals are not provided by the Parks and Recreation Committee. If you have any questions, please contact by phone or e-mail, Alicia Lorenzo at 269-364-0707 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
HEALTHY HOME FAIR
Thursday Sept. 12, Ely Park in Hartford
FREE! 3 :00 to 6:00 p.m. at Ely Park in downtown Hartford
This second annual Healthy Home Fair will present information about important topics of concern to local residents such as elevated PFAS levels in local private wells. Two Rivers Coalition will present information about its 3 years of E. coli testing in streams in the Paw Paw and Black River watersheds. There will also be:
Giveaways & demonstrations
Kids' activities & face painting
Well water nitrate screening
Drawings for Harding's gift cards
Live music & snacks
Rain barrel demo & giveaway
Invasive species tips & games
Recycling info and other resources
Free fire extinguisher inspection
Drawing for free septic pump out
Septic system care tips
BLACK RIVER PADDLE
Saturday Sept 14
10 AM - Noon
Although this is not a TRC organized paddle, here is the info from the Michigan Maritime Museum's website:
Join Michigan Maritime Museum members, volunteers, and other paddlers for a beautiful fall paddle on the serene Black River in South Haven. This event is open to all ages and levels in every area of paddling be it canoe or SUP. The purpose is to enjoy the river with your fellow paddlers and maybe learn a little something along the way. The Museum will provide a guide to lead the event. Paddlers are responsible for their own equipment/rentals. All paddlers will meet at the Black River Public Launch and paddle upriver for approximately an hour before returning to the launch. Following the event, participants are welcome to gather at Harbor Light Brewing in downtown South Haven for a brew and to share some paddling stories. This event is free. Donations to the Museum are appreciated. For information or to register, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 269-637-8078 ext. 3.
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)