Watershed Planner


Title: Watershed Planner
Reports To: Executive Director

About the Organization

Located in Rochester Hills, MI and serving the entirety of the Clinton River watershed, the Clinton River Watershed Council’s mission is to protect, enhance, and celebrate the Clinton River, its watershed, and Lake St. Clair for the benefit of communities, the environment, and our future. For 50 years, CRWC has worked to improve watershed management practices alongside local municipalities, provide educational programming for communities and children of all ages, and work to restore and enhance the Clinton River to become a place folks want to work, live and play.

Position Description

The Watershed Planner is responsible for leading and developing a suite of programming focused on connecting and re-connecting communities within the watershed back to the River. This work will be accomplished through a diversity of planning activities that fall under the WaterTowns® program umbrella, CRWC’s placemaking initiative exploring the intersectionality of the environment, economy, art, and culture as a hub for community improvements and innovations. The Watershed Planner is charged with leading planning and implementation activities centered around green infrastructure and will be responsible for building a comprehensive suite of green infrastructure services to compliment the activities and needs of WaterTowns® communities, counties, and regional partners working within the watershed. The Watershed Planner utilizes their expertise in watershed and environmental planning to foster project development with local, county level and regional partners across the watershed and serves as the public-facing representative of CRWC’s planning expertise. This includes building and maintaining strong relationships with partner organizations, agency staff, volunteers, and academic partners as well as contributing to communications, events, and interactions with the public and partner communities. The Watershed Planner is also responsible for maintaining and growing the water trail services and resources available within the Clinton River watershed and coastal Lake St. Clair. The position is responsible for grant prospecting, writing, reporting, and management related to all green infrastructure, watershed planning, and water trail work.

The Watershed Planner works closely with partners in a broad range of sectors to support WaterTowns® in the watershed, to recruit new WaterTowns® to join, and to develop collaborations to support the program.

The Watershed Planner will be a part of the staff team at CRWC working to uphold the organization’s mission and will be expected to function as a collaborative team member, including contributing to organization events and team needs as they arise; production of high-quality work in a timely fashion; courteous, service-oriented behavior towards volunteers, partners, and coworkers at all times; and ability to work collaboratively with partners and colleagues.

Primary duties include:

Building WaterTowns® in the Clinton

  • Lead and grow the WaterTowns® program within the watershed and coastal Lake St. Clair, including adding at least 2 new WaterTowns® in 2023 and 2024.
  • Work with existing WaterTowns® to implement WaterTowns® initiatives, including providing technical planning assistance, creating concept plans, grant writing assistance, site visits, and coordination and partnership building where needed.
  • Develop and cross-promote recreation and arts and culture-related projects to WaterTowns® and Lake St. Clair communities.
  • Facilitate stakeholder meetings and workshops that include WaterTowns® meetings with city officials, including hosting an annual WaterTowns® Congress.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

  • Develop and promote green infrastructure implementation activities related to CRWC’s stormwater community education efforts, including assisting CRWC’s contracted community members and partners in compliance with stormwater regulations as they relate to green infrastructure. 
  • Design and manage public planning and engagement processes including interacting with and building consensus among diverse stakeholders including representatives from the local, county, regional and state public and private sectors and the general public.
  • Build a green infrastructure service program within CRWC to provide a suite of GSI services to member municipalities, counties, homeowner associations, residents, and partners (rain gardens, site evaluations, GSI surveys, etc.).
  • Provide site development assistance, and review site plans and ordinances for public and private green infrastructure implementation projects within the watershed.

Water Trails, Access and Recreation

  • Management and continued development of the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair Water Trails.
  • Grow and maintain paddling access for water trails within the watershed, including growing collaborations with communities to increase accessibility to the Clinton River
  • Assist communities in implementing place-based community development projects to connect people and waterways.
  • Host water trail safety forums and oversee the River Stewards, including working to connect them directly to CRWC’s needs on the river

Grant Writing and Communications

  • Write and manage state, federal and private foundation grants for all green infrastructure, water trails, WaterTowns®, and accessibility projects.
  • Assist WaterTowns® communities and member communities in grant writing as needed.
  • Contribute to the development of strong, graphically impactful planning documents and new media outreach tools for programs within scope of responsibilities.

Desired Experience & Qualifications

  • Minimum 2-3 years’ experience in community and environmental planning or related fields
  • Minimum Bachelor's degree (Master’s strongly preferred) in community or environmental planning, environmental science, environmental engineering, landscape architecture or related fields
  • AICP certification or progress toward certification preferred
  • Familiarity with low-impact design strategies, complete streets, and other innovative stormwater management experiences with community connections.
  • Familiarity with theories central to park designs, walkability, and ecosystems services.
  • Familiarity with planning-related enabling legislation and zoning ordinance review processes
  • A general understanding of soil science, plant ID, and functionalities in urban environments
  • 2-3 years experience in leading planning processes and/or project development experience, including strong partnership-building skills, experience managing contractors, and experience developing communications tools for diverse partners
  • Desire to build programmatic connectivity centering the intersectionality of art, culture, environment, and community
  • Experience paddling or familiarity with paddling sports and other water-related recreation
  • Proven track record with writing, managing, and executing grant-funded projects, including close collaboration with grant partners and stakeholders
  • Ability to recruit, instruct and/or lead groups of volunteers and partners in programmatic related work
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task and work both independently and as a team player
  • Strong verbal, written and listening communication skills, including public speaking
  • Good relationship building skills, including tact, sense of humor, and assertiveness
  • Strong technology skills including Microsoft Office suite, Google Suite, ESRI/ArcGIS and Adobe InDesign.


Work Environment Includes:

The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.

  • Project work will involve all-weather physical activity, including in-water work, and the use of hand and field tools
  • Some evening and weekend work required
  • Must maintain a valid driver’s license
  • Candidate will be expected to earn a safety certification through the American Canoe Association (or similar program for water safety) within 6 months of hire


Compensation and Benefits:

Salary Range: $53,000 - $58,000

Salary commensurate with experience. Medical, vision, dental and retirement benefits, vacation, sick and holiday pay. Compensation is recommended by the Executive Director and approved by the Board of Directors.

To apply, please visit www.crwc.org/join-us/jobs or email a cover letter, resume and transcript (can be official or unofficial) to: contact@crwc.org.

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Watershed Planner Job Posting_FINAL.pdf

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