–––––––––––––––––––––––––  JUNE 01, 2021  ––––––––––––––––––––––––

  About the ADW

We are a council of 21  communities  and  public agencies committed to protecting the downriver watersheds.  Members work together to meet various NPDES MS4 permit requirements and sustainably manage the area’s water resources through several initiatives and educational programs.  Since 2007, the ADW has secured $2.5 million in federal and state grant funding, resulting in $3.4 million in water quality improvement projects. 

Current ADW members include  Allen Park, Belleville, Dearborn Heights, Ecorse, Flat Rock, Gibraltar, Grosse Ile Township, Inkster, Lincoln Park, Melvindale, Riverview, Rockwood, Romulus, Southgate, Sumpter Township, Taylor, Van Buren Township, Wayne County, Westland, Woodhaven-Brownstown School District, and Wyandotte. Cooperating partners include the Huron River Watershed Council and the Friends of the Detroit River. To learn more about the ADW or see when upcoming meetings are taking place, check out the ADW website at 

  ADW Success Stories

Volunteer Chemistry & Flow Monitoring Tracks Pollution and Engages Downriver Residents

The Alliance of Downriver Watersheds Chemistry and Flow Monitoring Program was developed in 2012 as a collaborative effort to collect environmental data on South Ecorse Creek, the Lower Huron River, and the Combined Downriver waterways.  Monitoring the water chemistry and flow of these local waterways is intended to lead to a better understanding of pollution contributions in the Downriver area and, in turn, help local municipalities focus and track pollution reduction efforts. By revamping the volunteer recruitment strategies and launching a lab partnership with the Downriver Utility Wastewater Authority (DUWA), the program has seen recent growth. During the 2019 season, 35 volunteers participated, 13 sites were monitored bimonthly during the growing season, and 476 samples were analyzed by DUWA.

Since 2012, the Huron River Watershed Council has been leading this monitoring initiative on behalf of the ADW. The program relies on volunteers to collect water samples and take flow measurements annually from 12 sites on downriver creeks and the Lower Huron River from spring to fall. Water samples are analyzed for nutrients like phosphorus, sediments, bacteria, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, and temperature.

Learn more about the ADW’s Chemistry and Flow Monitoring program and get monitoring results here.

  Member Highlight

City of Gibraltar

The City of Gibraltar has been an important member of the ADW, with Mayor Jim Gorris chairing the alliance for the past 5 years and a member since its inception in 2006. The City has been committed to public access to water recreation for their residents and the surrounding communities. In June of 2016, Gibraltar completed the Rotary Kayak Launch at the City’s center (Middle Gibraltar Rd/North Gibraltar Rd). The kayak launch was built to the specifications of the Americans with Disabilities Act, allowing residents with disabilities to access all aspects of the launch. “With the increasing popularity of paddle sports and access to our calm peaceful waterway, access to the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, and the Detroit Heritage River Water Trail, the public’s use of our kayak launch has exceeded our expectations and we are pleased to offer the opportunity to all,” said Mayor Gorris. While the kayak launch is currently closed due to the Middle Gibraltar Road Bridge Replacement Project, it will reopen by the Spring of 2022.  

Learn more about Gibraltar here 


How to Focus on Clean Water while Maintaining a Healthy Lawn

Prevent the growth of harmful algae in downstream lakes by avoiding phosphorus-based lawn fertilizers, which are restricted under Michigan law. Instead, keep down weeds and encourage root growth by letting your grass grow to a height of three inches or more. Then use a mulching mower to put back nutrients and organic matter. To find out what would be of most benefit to your lawn, consider testing your soil. 

To learn more, check out this tip sheet from our cooperating partner, the Huron River Watershed Council.  


Schools for Clean Water Contest

From April 12th to April 30th, 23 Green Schools in Downriver community participated in the Schools for Clean Water Contest. This friendly competition recruited residents to “adopt” a nearby storm drain to reduce pollution and trash flow into our local waters. The competition closed with 1,235 pledges and 9 Green Schools earning $5,000 in prize money for educational programming. Chapman Elementary of Rockwood won the $1,500 grand prize with 371 pledges.  The prize money will help schools fund programs like an outdoor classroom, a reading garden for special education students, school gardens, and other green initiatives.

Learn more about this year's competition here


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ADW Success Story: photo taken on Lake Erie by Tracie Felker of Rockwood 2018 ADW Photo Contest

Tips: photo by taken by Adrienne Simowski of Flat Rock 2018 ADW Photo Contest
Copyright © 2021 • Alliance of Downriver Watersheds • All rights reserved.

Alliance of Downriver Watersheds
1100 N Main St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1059

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Alliance of Downriver Watersheds · 1100 N Main St · Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1059 · USA