Mud Busters - The Sequel
Washtenaw County, MI

Grantee: Huron River Watershed Council
Basin Program Funds: $10,000
Non-federal Funds: $5,053
Project Duration: 04/1995 - 03/1996
Status: complete

Problem Statement
Studies conducted during 1970 as part of the national Urban Runoff Program, as well as recent testing conducted by the city of Ann Arbor as part of the stormwater permitting requirements, revealed that urban and suburban construction activities are a significant source of sediment to the Huron system.

Mill Creek has been identified as a significant source of sediment that directly impacts the small mouth bass fishery along the main channel of the Huron River at its confluence with the creek.

The Mud Buster program, initiated under a 1994 Great Lakes Basin Program grant, included training citizen volunteers to recognize and report urban, agricultural, roadway, and in-channel erosion control problems to local county enforcement agents and establishing the Huron Valley Soil Erosion Control Agents Network. The network fostered information exchange between the various soil erosion agents and officers regarding innovative enforcement techniques and best management practices.

The goals of this project, Mud Busters-The Sequel, is to continue the 1994 program activities as well as produce an inventory that prioritizes agricultural, in-stream channel, and road-related erosion hot spots within the Mill Creek drainage of the Huron River watershed. The inventory provided baseline data for pollution reduction planning and future fisheries restoration planning for Mill Creek. Mill Creek is the Huron River's largest tributary basin and has been long recognized as a significant source of sediment and associated phosphorus to the main channel of the Huron River.

An inventory of agricultural, streambank, and road-related erosion was conducted in the 144 square mile watershed of Mill Creek. Over 8 linear miles of streambanks exhibiting severe soil erosion were identified, and agricultural fields bordering the stream and lacking vegetative buffers were estimated to contribute 1,647 tons of lost soil annually.

The results of this analysis were compiled as Soil Erosion in the Mill Creek Basin: An Assessment of Fields, Roads, and Creeks; Washtenaw County, Michigan (1996) and are now begin used by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and Huron River Watershed Council to facilitate streambank stabilization and buffer strip plantings so that downstream fisheries can be restored.

Contact: Paul Rentschler, (734) 769-5123


Great Lakes Commission des Grands Lacs.  2805 S. Industrial Highway, Suite 100.  Ann Arbor, MI  48104-6791.  phone: 734/971.9135.  fax: 734/971-9150. Join the Friends of the Great Lakes GLIN Partner