Grants and Studies in the Bean Creek Watershed

Mussel survey of Bean Creek watershed, summer 2004, finds 17 species of freshwater mussels, including 2 species of special concern -- round pigtoe and rainbow mussel -- and one species, slippershell mussel, Threatened in Michigan. Best sites were in St. Joseph Creek and the main stream of the Bean near Morenci; and poorest sites were in Silver Creek, where no live mussels were found. Funded by the Water Sentinels Program of the Sierra Club, volunteers with Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan (ECCSCM) coordinated this survey conducted by aquatic zoologists with the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, MSU.
flags  slippershell
St. Joseph Creek, with flags marking live mussels;slippershell mussel, Threatened in Michigan
For more details, more photos of mussels, a clam trail, big-footed pocketbook mussel, and more! see the mussel survey page. 

"Writing on the Bean" project, 2003-2004, funded by an EPA Environmental Education grant -- The Watershed Coalition worked with 8th graders in a stream search for aquatic insects. Students wrote short pieces about their findings, with selections published in local papers, and all the writings published on this site. See photos and writings from Addison (Oct.3, 2003), Hudson (Sept. 26, 2003), Morenci (April 30, 2004). The grant also funded a map of Bean Creek and its public parks, highlighting native species found there.  Copies of the map and stream search equipment were donated to all participating schools.

Riverside Park Project

Morenci High School Green Earth Club (GECKOs) and Morenci City Council designate Riverside Park along Bean Creek as a Natural Area.  On a planting day May 2, 2004, students begin the restoration project with the planting of local sycamore trees and other native plant seedlings. Bean/Tiffin Watershed Coalition volunteers assist with the planting and on-site construction of two cedar benches by the Bean. See planting day photos, Riverside Natural Area Resolution.

DEQ Bio-Assessment of Bean Watershed
streams, June 2003 (see photos). Two tributaries of Bean Creek were added to Michigan's list of impaired waters -- Durfee Creek for low Dissolved Oxygen; and Medina Drain because of poor macroinvertebrate communities, excess nutrients.

Stream Search in the Bean at Hudson, April 2003  (photos!)

Two Water Monitoring Projects, 2001- 2003:

1) Lime Creek Water Quality Monitoring Project (2001-2003) – funded by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Clean Michigan Initiative, with local matching funds. Christie Cook of Community Action Agency coordinated this project, and citizen volunteers assisted on each sampling trip. The project sampled 14 sites within the Lime Creek Watershed for E. coli, Phosphorus, and Suspended Solids. Final report and data are available from Bean/Tiffin Watershed Coalition - contact Christie Cook, Community Action Agency: 1-800-750-9300.

2) ECCSCM Water Monitoring Project (2001-2003) – funded by Sierra Club’s Community Action grant, and coordinated by Janet Kauffman, Ph.D. and Kathy Melmoth, R.N, for Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan. This project sampled for E. coli bacteria and Dissolved Oxygen at sites downstream from Confined Animal Feeding Operations and fields where liquid manure was applied. 79 sites were sampled, for a total of 430 water samples. Final report with findings of streams at risk and total data are posted here.