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Environmental Links and Announcements

Upcoming Workshops/Lectures

"Go Native! ...with Trees and Shrubs"
Monday, February 11, 2013; 6:00 - 8:30 pm Southfield Public Library - 26000 Evergreen (south of I-696) Free program, but registration. CLICK HERE for more information.

Scoop Up the Dog Poop
There are important reasons to pick up after your pet! CLICK HERE for more information

Remember, it ALL Drains to our Lakes and Rivers
Storm drains and roadside ditches lead to our lakes and rivers. So, any oil, pet waste, leaves or dirty water from washing your car that enters a storm drain gets into our lakes and rivers without being treated. With almost five million people living in Southeast Michigan, we all need to be aware of what goes into our storm drains. How can you help? Simple.
• Sweep it. Do you have extra fertilizer, grass clippings, or dirt on your driveway or sidewalk? Sweep it back onto your lawn. Hosing your driveway sends these pollutants into storm drains that lead directly to our lakes and rivers.
• Keep it clean. Whether in the street or in your yard, remember to keep leaves, grass clippings, trash, and fertilizers away from storm drains.
• Only rain in the drain. Never dump motor oil, chemicals, pet waste, dirty or soapy water, or anything else down the storm drain. All of these materials pollute our lakes and rivers!
• Label it. Volunteer to label the storm drains in your neighborhood to inform residents that storm drains flow directly to our lakes and rivers. Call your local community for more information on storm drain stenciling programs. For more easy steps on protecting our lakes and rivers, visit

Use Phosphorus Free Fertilizer!
Beginning January 1, 2012, Michigan law restricts phosphorus fertilizer applications on lawns. CLICK HERE for more information.

Putting Water Rates Into Perspective
The Detroit Water and Sewer Department Wholesale Customer Outreach Technical Advisory Committee has produced a short video and brochure to explain the different factors impacting water rates in the DWSD system.

Tree Mulching and Watering
CLICK HERE for Tree Mulching and Watering Guidlines from SOCWA (Southeastern Oakland County Water Authority)

Friends of the Rouge
Get Involved with the Friends of the Rouge – Upcoming activities include a plant sale, boat tours, kayak and canoe trips, and a Run for the Rouge

Conservation Stewards Program Volunteer Training
Are you looking for a great opportunity to learn about conservation and natural science and assume critical leadership roles through volunteering your time, knowledge, and skills in conservation management in your community? Individuals who take part in the Michigan Conservation Stewards Program (CSP) can learn how to effectively take part in informed, scientifically based conservation and resource management and work to sustain healthy ecosystems across Michigan. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

An enhanced fishing experience
Beginning April 1, Upper Bushman Lake at Independence Oaks-North in Clarkston will become the first and only public access lake in Southeast Michigan with a Catch-and-Release-Only Special Designation. The variance from the standard state fishing regulations was authorized by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

The catch-and-release designation prevents the lake from becoming over-harvested and allows it to perform at its biological potential, producing and supporting a high quality fishery for generations to come.

Independence Oaks-North features a 312-foot boardwalk connecting to a 180-foot-long fishing dock. The 188-acre parcel was acquired in 2010 and opened to the public in May 2011.

FREE fishing fun
Mark your calendar for an afternoon of fishing at Hooked on Fishing, a youth-based, catch-and-release fishing event on Upper Bushman Lake on June 9 from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. The program is part of the MDNR’s annual Free Fishing Weekend and Clinton River Watershed Council’s River Day 2012.

Participants will learn about catch-and-release fishing techniques and join in fish-related children’s crafts and activities. Poles and bait will be provided or participants may bring their own. Visit for details.

Huron River Watershed Council
HRWC River Up Program:

Oakland County Environmental Stewardship Services
Southeastern Oakland County Water Authority - Healthy lawn and gardens information, water quality
Friends of the Rouge - Promoting restoration and stewardship of the Rouge River
MI Department of Environmental Quality

Alliance of Rouge Communities at

Call the hotline to report:

  • Contamination to lakes, rivers, and streams
  • Pollution entering a storm drain or surface water
  • Suspicious dumping to drains and/or surface water
  • Suspicious discharges from pipes
  • Sewage discharges on the ground or into surface water
  • Large numbers of dead fish
  • Failing septic systems
  • Construction site soil erosion entering surface waters
  • Polluted storm water runoff from storage piles and dumpsters
  • Illegal connections of sanitary sewers to storm drains or suface waters


Septic System Maintenance

Does your home utilize a septic system? If so, you should be concerned about maintenance. Poorly maintained septic systems can cause serious problems, cause contamination, and be costly to repair or replace. Properly maintained systems can be effective long-term. Learn more about your system, the do's and don'ts to prolong its use, and signs you may have a problem. CLICK HERE for a fact sheet on septic systems, and call relevant phone numbers if you have a question

Seven Simple Steps to Clean Water

It is important to remember that what we do at home affects our rivers and lakes.  Please go here to learn more about seven simple steps to clean water.

Waterfront Wisdom - Healthy Habits

More than 1,400 lakes and countless tributary streams and rivers flow throughout Oakland County.  Please go here to learn about healthy habits for waterfront wisdom

Hazardous Waste Disposal

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) encourages residents to properly dispose of hazardous waste.  The notice can be viewed here.

Recreational Vehicle (RV) Dumping

Commerce Township would like to remind residents that household hazardous waste can pollute our waterways if washed or dumped into storm drains or roadside ditches that lead directly to lakes and streams.  Please dispose of RV sanitary waste at nearby drop-off locations.  For more information on drop-off locations and requirements, please visit


Healthy Lawn Care Tips

Frog Survey Training
Learn how to recognize the calls of singing frogs along with other facets of amphibian survey work. Sign up to volunteer for night frog surveys at Independence Oaks and Rose Oaks county parks, from April – June. CLICK HERE for more information.