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Forest to Faucet, led by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' Forest Stewardship Program, is a new program aimed at explaining connections between Michigan's 20 million acres of forest and drinking water for 10 million Michiganders.

Twenty conservation partners working on Forest to Mi Faucet are planting 60,000 trees along rivers and lakes, protecting important forests with conservation easements, educating landowners about forest stewardship, and helping a dozen municipal water utilities protect the source of their drinking water.

An estimated 6 million people in our state get their drinking water from one of the Great Lakes, while the other 4 million people rely on city or private wells.

The quality of both groundwater and surface water is influenced by how we take care of the land above or upstream from our sources of drinking water. Michigan’s public (38%) and private (62%) forests offer the best land use to protect water quality. We need to protect important forests, manage all forests well and plant more trees near water in both urban and rural landscapes.

Whether you live in a city or a rural area or own a small woodlot or a big forest, the DNR and Forest to Mi Faucet are sharing a few ways to protect water quality.

What can you do to support clean water?

If you live in a city:

  • Buy less stuff you don’t need and recycle everything possible.

  • Grow food in a community garden.

  • Become a Clean Water Ambassador with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

  • Pick up and properly dispose of pet poop on forest trails as well as sidewalks. 

  • Ask your city public works department to plant trees on your block or install rain gardens along parking lots and streets to reduce stormwater.

  • Read your city water utility’s source water protection plan. These plans include a variety of actions and activities aimed at safeguarding, maintaining or improving the quality or quantity of sources of drinking water.  

  • Use less salt on icy sidewalks and streets.

If you live in a suburban or rural area:

  • Buy less stuff you don’t need and recycle everything possible.

  • Grow food in your own garden.

  • Become a Clean Water Ambassador.

  • Replace some of your lawn with native wildflowers or shrubs.

  • Plant native trees and shrubs, especially near lakes and streams.

  • Be “Septic Smart” and maintain your septic system every three to five years.

  • Test the water quality in your home well every five years with your local health department.

  • Volunteer with your local watershed council.

If you own a small woodlot (1 to 24 acres):

If you own a larger forest (25 to 2,500 acres):

Forest Trees

Forests are Key to Michigan's Clean Water

Covering about half of Michigan, forests  deliver clean water to our rivers, inland lakes and the Great Lakes. They have permanent vegetation that slows water as it falls from the sky and moves along the ground.

Forests have undisturbed soil and a layer of leaves on top that reduce runoff, limit erosion and filter pollutants. Unlike parking lots and rooftops that are hard surfaces that transport pollution into water, forests are permeable. They  absorb lots of water quickly and then release it slowly to reduce flooding in heavy rain events. 

Learn more

Get more information about project partners and how you can protect forests and water at

Help Us Heal the River Raisin:

Restore Native Plants, Revitalize Our Water

The River Raisin is the lifeblood of our community, but it's facing a continued challenge. Water quality issues. These issues threaten the health of our river and the ecosystems it supports. Here at the River Raisin Watershed Council, we're on a mission to bring our watershed back to life and we need your help.

Our solution: Planting native trees and plants along throughout the watershed. These natural filters absorb pollutants, prevent erosion, and create healthy habitats for fish and wildlife.

Your contribution will:

  • Purchase native trees and plants: We'll strategically plant them to maximize their impact on water quality.

  • Fuel volunteer planting events: Together, we can transform the watershed into a flourishing ecosystem.

  • Support farmers with micro-grants: Encourage farmers to plant "pocket forests" on their land, further improving water quality downstream.

  • Fund educational programs: Teach future generations about the importance of a healthy river and empower them to be stewards of our environment.

A healthier river benefits everyone:
  • Cleaner drinking water: Native plants act as nature's water filters, removing harmful pollutants before they reach our taps.

  • Thriving wildlife: A healthy river ecosystem provides a haven for fish, birds, and other animals.

  • Booming recreation: A clean river is a beautiful river, perfect for swimming, fishing, and kayaking.

  • An educated public: By supporting environmental education in our schools, we cultivate a society that understands the importance of protecting our natural resources.

Together, let's restore the River Raisin to its full potential. Donate today and be a part of the solution!

Make your tax-deductible contribution to the River Raisin Watershed Council and invest in a healthier future for our community.

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