Monitoring Human Impacts to Michigan's Freshwater Systems

Location and Date

October 29-30, 2012
Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center
Higgins Lake, Michigan ( View Map | Site Map )

Conference Program

Online registration has now closed. Please contact Laura Kaminski, MiCorps Staff, at the Great Lakes Commission for more information (, 734-971-9135).

Conference Overview

The eighth annual Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) conference will feature presentations from volunteers around the state, regional experts, and DEQ and MiCorps staff, covering both lake and stream topics of interest and success stories from volunteer monitoring efforts. In particular, this year's conference will focus on monitoring the effects of human impacts on Michigan's freshwater systems, including presentations on monitoring activities associated with the 2010 Kalamazoo River oil spill, dam removal, mining, nutrient and wastewater management, and invasive species, as well as lakeshore habitat and human disturbance indicators in Michigan lakes.

This year we will have two featured plenary speakers. Steve Noble, from the Michigan DEQ Enbridge Response Unit, will join us to discuss the monitoring and assessment activities associated with the response and recovery efforts resulting from the 2010 Enbridge oil pipeline rupture on Talmadge Creek. Mr. Noble is an Environmental Quality Analyst with the Water Resources Division and provides oversight of the remedial investigation portion of the ongoing work associated with the Enbridge oil spill. He holds a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from Lake Superior State College and has been employed in the environmental field for 25 years, working for both governmental and private firms in the area of environmental compliance.

In addition, Ralph Bednarz, former MiCorps administrator and Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program coordinator with the DEQ, will present information from the National Lakes Assessment (NLA) Survey conducted in Michigan, including accessing lakeshore habitat and human disturbance indicators in Michigan lakes. Mr. Bednarz retired from the DEQ in 2011 after a 35 year career in environmental protection and water resources management in Michigan. He is currently working with the DEQ Water Resources Division as a Senior Environmental Employment Program enrollee to coordinate the 2012 NLA implementation in Michigan. Mr. Bednarz also works with the Great Lakes Environmental Center as a regional trainer for the NLA.

Optional training for both beginners and advanced volunteer monitors will take place on Monday, October 29th (see below), which is free of charge. In addition, all interested participants are invited to attend an advisory session on possible new MiCorps lake and stream monitoring parameters (measures) on the evening of October 29th. The full conference program will take place on Tuesday, October 30th.  

Who Should Attend

The conference is intended for volunteer monitoring program leaders, citizen volunteers, water resource professionals, and others interested in the health and protection of Michigan's rivers, lakes and streams.

Special Training for Volunteer Monitors

During the afternoon of Monday, October 29th, MiCorps will offer two free training workshops for volunteer monitors. Participants may attend either "Insect Identification" or "Plants of Michigan's Lakes and Streams." See the conference program for additional details or contact Dr. Paul Steen ( or 734-769-5123).

Please note that you may register for the free training sessions only, without attending the full conference; however, advanced registration is required to attend. Space is limited, so visit the online registration page to sign up, or contact Laura Kaminski at or 734-971-9135 for more information.

Registration and Lodging

The conference registration fee is $40 and includes lunch on Tuesday, breaks, facility use fees, and all conference materials. Dormitory-style lodging is available at the MacMullan Center at a rate of $48.50 for a double room and $65 for a single room. Monday night dinner and Tuesday breakfast are also available at the MacMullan Center for an additional cost. Please reserve your seat and/or overnight lodging in advance using the conference registration site.

Online registration has now closed.

Please note: Registration for alumni of the Michigan Lake and Stream Leaders Institute may be covered by the Institute. Please contact Dr. Jo Latimore for more information.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact Laura Kaminski, MiCorps support staff, Great Lakes Commission, 734-971-9135.

The Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) was created through Executive Order #2003-15 to assist the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in collecting and sharing water quality data for use in water resources management and protection programs. For more information about the DEQ's Water Resource Division, please visit their website.


Header photo: Glen Lake, MI by Sean McKendall
Webmaster: Laura Andrews
Program administered by the Great Lakes Commission
and supported by funding from the
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality