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Flint River Watershed Coalition

Annual Report


    Table of Contents

? A letter from the Chairman of the Board Darren Bagley

? Vision, Mission, Core Beliefs and Goals

? 2003 Accomplishments by Goal

? Financial Statement2004 Operating Budget

? Board of Directors


    Chair letter hereMessage From The Chair

    2003 was another year of growth and change for the Flint River Watershed Coalition. We Ccontinued to make strong progress was made on theour goals and objectives set forth at theour board retreat in October 2002. The Bboard of Ddirectors reviewed those goals and strategic plan at theour retreat in October of this year2003, and look forward to the continued success and challenges that 2004 will bring.

The Flint River Watershed Coalition is evolving from a “new” organization to one

    that is becoming increasingly well known and respected in the community. Other community groups are looking to us for leadership, partnerships, and support in environmental endeavors. In the short six years since this organization has been in existence, it has transformed from an idea to a diverse group working toward protecting, preserving, and promoting the proper use of our wonderful natural resources. Other watershed groups have commented on the progress we have made in such a relatively short time.

    During 2003, we have added another staff member (doubling our paid staff!) with the addition of Barbara Stein, our Office Manager. Committees have become more effective, as demonstrated in the work mentioned in the rest of this report. Volunteer participation has increased in all our events, illustrating the wide appeal for the environmental movement in the watershed. The Lapeer County Committee, formed in 2003, has started several projects and is working on expanding FRWC efforts and influence within Lapeer County.

    All the work has been accomplished through the dedication of our volunteers, our staff, and our Board of Directors. Thanks to everyone who has removed rubbish from the river, caught critters in a creek, or helped plan the direction of the organization. Without the involvement of the diverse membership and partners, the Flint River Watershed Coalition would not be successful.

Thank you on behalf of the staff and Board of Directors of the FRWC.

Darren Bagley


    January 2004



The Flint River Watershed Coalition is the unifying advocate for environmental

    quality within the watershed.


To actively pursue the formation of partnerships to protect, preserve and improve

    (the environmental quality of) the Flint River watershed.

    Core Beliefs

? We are committed to improving and maintaining the environmental quality in

    the Flint River watershed.

    ? We are committed to environmental education. ? We value input and participation from the entire watershed community.

    ? We value a positive approach to people and problem solving.

    Goals Adopted October 2002

    1. Educate the public about water quality and ecosystem protection and

    appropriate use of land and water resources.

    2. Protect, promote and advocate the proper use of the Flint River

    Watershed through such means as monitoring water watches and pollution

    compliance referrals.

    3. Promote involvement of citizens, governments, organizations, institutions,

    and businesses to protect land and water resources.

    4. Maintain sufficient human resources and organizational infrastructure.

    5. Ensure adequate and stable financial resources for the FRWC.


    Accomplishments by Goal

Goal 1. Educate the public about water quality and ecosystem

    protection and appropriate use of land and water resources.

    In 2003, activities under this goal comprised the majority of FRWC effort and resources. Public education has been a constant focus as a service the FRWC can deliver for watershed residents and partners. Several new projects were added and most of those will carry over into 2004.

Swartz Creek Subwatershed Pollution Runoff Study

     During the past year, two public meetings were conducted to inform citizens, public officials, farmers and business owners about this study and to listen to their concerns. The result of this study will be a series of Best Management Practices (BMP’s) that, when implemented, will significantly reduce non-point pollution runoff. Additional public meetings will focus on findings, BMP’s and potential results using methods recommended in the study.

Quarterly Seminars

     This program was new in 2003. A total of three seminars were held on a variety of subjects including Michigan Natural Features Inventory on threatened and endangered species, land conservation methods in and around the watershed and one program that contained stormwater education and organizational capacity building for non-profits. We expect to continue seminars into the future.

Michigan River Network Annual Meeting

     The FRWC and the Center for Applied Environmental Research (CAER) co-hosted this annual meeting, on the UM Flint campus, of Michigan watershed groups and those with interests in water quality. The FRWC invited local environmental non-profits with an interest in stormwater education and organizational capacity building. Nationally known presenters from the River Network and Institute for Conservation Leadership lead the sessions. The Michigan River Network organizers said this conference would serve as a model for future meetings. This event is held in locations around the State.

RiverFest 2003

     The second year for RiverFest was another learning experience. RiverFest was held in 3 locations to accommodate the requests of our activities and partners, the Genesee Parks and Recreation Commission, Flushing Township Nature Park and the City of Flushing. Overall attendance was


    improved, as were sponsorships and new activities were introduced including a raffle, bat show, live music and minnow races. Future events will be more easily organized, effective and convenient for those who attend if held in a single location. RiverFest can be improved and be a good income producer while providing a good environmental education experience.

Web Site and List Serve

     A partial redesign has been completed that will be more user friendly, informative and visually pleasing. Due to other priorities, this project will be carried over into 2004. Our challenges are content generation and maintenance in a timely manner. The FRWC List Serve continues to be popular and is an efficient way to communicate information on important topics. It has also served to generate volunteers for various projects.

Public Presentations

     A total of 14 presentations on the FRWC and its activities were conducted to diverse audiences including service clubs, city and township meetings, environmental clubs and schools. As a result, new members and volunteers have become involved with the FRWC.

Watershed Short Course

     This project has been delayed and will be implemented in 2004. It is a six-week course where participants learn about water science, water resources and different approaches to watershed management.

Stormwater Education Phase II

     This program focuses on non-point pollution reduction for communities with over 20,000 in population in Genesee County. The current proposal will be reviewed and the role of the FRWC defined. The development and

    implementation of this program could result in long-term support for the FRWC.

Project GREEN

     General Motors and Earthforce has requested that the FRWC become the program administrator on a phased in basis. Project GREEN is a curriculum based environmental education program that teaches problem identification and resolution based on water quality monitoring. A proposal will be made to the Board in February 2004.

Flint River Watershed College

     This project has been cancelled in favor of other, more immediate education initiatives.

Goal 2. Protect, promote and advocate the proper use of the

    Flint River Watershed through such means as monitoring water watches and pollution compliance referrals.


Local News Articles

     The Flint River Watershed Coalition’s environmental policy committee has written two letters to the Flint Journal regarding environmental issues. We have

    also been mentioned in several articles and television stories discussing

    appropriate use of our natural resources.

Stream Monitoring, a semi-annual event

     More volunteers participated in this program than in previous years, indicating the importance and relevance of this program. The MDEQ, the

    program sponsor, refers to the FRWC program as one of the best in the State.

    These tests show that water quality is stable, but some areas need attention

    while others improve. Nearly 100 volunteers from Genesee and Lapeer Counties

    participate in training and fieldwork.

MDEQ Volunteer Program

     The FRWC has made a proposal to the MDEQ to develop a state-wide program involved with supplementing MDEQ field efforts to help monitor possible

    pollution sources resulting from a variety of sources. There is agreement that

    such a program would serve a worthwhile purpose and engage trained

    volunteers that would act as an extension of MDEQ field activities.

Goal 3. Involve citizens, governments, organizations institutions

    and businesses to help protect land and water resources.

River Rescue

     The annual river cleanup was the most successful ever in terms of numbers of volunteers, sites cleaned and financial support. Site numbers were

    doubled from 3 to 6, with the addition of 2 sites in Genesee County and 1 in

    Lapeer County. Volunteers increased from 175 to about 450 and nearly $5300

    was raised in sponsorships including a $2000 contribution from General Motors.

    Later in the year, the FRWC coordinated a Mott Park river cleanup with over 60

    Kettering University students.

Watershed Short Course

     Refer to Goal 1 for details.

Lapeer County Committee

     Formed in April 2003, this committee has been an active participant in FRWC projects while maintaining autonomy to pursue Lapeer County specific

    projects, many with FRWC support. The Committee’s main function is to

    coordinate FRWC projects and outreach in Lapeer County. The support of the

    Committee is outstanding with excellent support from County government. We

    expect that 2004 will continue the path established this year.


Goal 4. Ensure adequate and stable financial resources.

Determine Grant Funding Alternatives

     The grant identification process is one that occurs throughout the year,

    with some sources emerging and others disappearing. In general, grant application periods are relatively short and project specific. This necessitates the

Determining Grant Funding Alternatives cont.

    creation of a list of potential projects to meet certain grant requirements, which is usually challenging. The other alternative is to look for grants offering general support, not project related. During 2003, the FRWC received grants in both categories. In the area of general support, grants from the River Network and Highfield Foundation helped to sustain general operations while projects grants were received from the Ruth Mott Foundation, Watershed Initiative Network, in partnership with CAER, plus Kodak Greenways and the Rotary Club of Flint. The project grants were all for GLS Greenlinks, a three-county greenway planning project. Grant totals: general support, $25,000 and project $232,000.

Improve Non-grant Funding Alternatives

     The sources of hard dollars are more diverse that grant funds. The

    Finance Committee has started the process of developing a multi-year financial strategic plan that coordinates with the strategic plan. That plan will address membership development, planned giving, corporate gifts, endowments and other factors. During 2003, membership increased to 117 from 74 with several members lost through moves. The average membership contribution increased from about $25, in 2002, to about $50, in 2003. Corporate programs, such as matching gifts and GM’s Volunteer Plus, continue to be an important component of financial stability.


    2004 FRWC Operating Budget

    Expenses Income

Salaries 41000 Greenways** 7055

    Fringe (payroll taxes) 5330 Memberships (155) 8000

    Carry over

    Insurance 2000 (General)** 13000

    Telephone 600 Mott 0

    Postage 300 River Network 2500

    Supplies 500 Contributions 4500


    Contractual services 1000 Foundation** 5000

    Rent 1200 Events/Fundraisers 7500

    Printing 500 Tom's of Maine 10000


    Newsletter sponsors 2000

     Print 1200 Project Green 0

     Dist. 400

     D&L 2000 ** In hand

    Travel/hosting 1200 Professional dev. 1000 Other 1250

Total Expenses 59480 Total Revenue 59555


    2003 Board of Directors - Current

    Darren Bagley Chair MSUE Genesee County 810-244-8524

Linda Berker Sierra Club 810-653-8242

Jay Blair Treasurer USDA/NRCS 810-230-8766

    Harry Blecker Finance Committee, UM Flint, CAER 810-767-7373


    Bob Carylon City of Flint 810-787-6537

Stephany Diana- Chair, Ex offocio Mott Comm. College 810-232-3161

Leo Dorr Great Lakes Bioregional 810-664-5647

     Land Conservancy

    S. Olof Karlstrom Governance, Attorney 810-239-5511

     Committee Chair

    Sue Kubic Vice-Chair, Genesee Co. Drain Comm. 810-732-1590 Strategic Planning Committee, Chair

    Glenn LeFeber Executive Director FRWC 810-767-6490

Brent Lewis Kettering University 810-762-7918

Hilda McShane Genesee Co. Parks & Rec. 810-249-3815

Jack Minore 49th District State Rep. 517-373-7515

Fred Townsend National Audubon Society 248-627-3587

Bill Welch GISD 810-591-4442

Dennis Zicha Citizen 810-767-6490


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