CRWC Launches a New WaterTowns Initiative with Support from the Erb Family Foundation

The Clinton River Watershed Council proudly announces the launch of WaterTowns, a new community-based initiative designed to help towns and cities in the watershed leverage the assets of the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair for water-oriented community development.

“CRWC has worked for many years with our partners, including SEMCOG, Macomb County, Oakland County, and the Lake St. Clair Tourism Initiative to advance watershed management, the blue economy, tourism, and green infrastructure,” says Anne Vaara, CRWC’s Executive Director.  “This new WaterTowns Initiative, made possible by a 3-year commitment from the Erb Family Foundation, will allow us to unify and expand on these efforts and take them to a new level.”

To support the new initiative, CRWC hired Nina Misuraca Ignaczak to fill a newly created Watershed Planner position.  Ignaczak served for 13 years as a planner with Oakland County Planning & Economic Development Services, where she focused on water resources and sustainability planning.

“Nina brings a familiarity with the watershed and a strong background in water resource ecology and community planning. She is experienced in building and sustaining local community efforts to support natural resource protection and community development,” says Vaara.

The WaterTowns initiative will facilitate a community-based effort to develop a vision map for the entire watershed, from the headwaters of the Clinton River all the way to coastal Lake St. Clair. The map will highlight opportunities to maximize the potential of the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair to attract and retain residents and businesses by offering a unique quality of life and sense of place supported by local water resources.

A strong emphasis on leveraging local waterways for community, green infrastructure and recreation development will define the initiative. Major elements of the effort will include identification of opportunities for water-oriented public spaces, development of the Clinton River Water Trail as a key recreation and economic asset, and implementing green infrastructure to treat stormwater and enhance watershed ecological health.

An innovative community engagement effort will provide varied methods for people to engage with the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair, including events, a mobile application, contests and creative campaigns.

Through this exciting new initiative, CRWC looks forward to continuing our 40-year tradition of watershed leadership by helping to maximize the potential of our waterways as assets for strong places and communities.