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Prepared in cooperation with the Lake St. Clair Regional Monitoring Project, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne Counties, Michigan

Cooperative Water-Resources Monitoring in the St. Clair River/Lake St. Clair Basin, Michigan

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007-1148

By Stephen J. Rheaume, Brian P. Neff, and Stephen P. Blumer

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As part of the Lake St. Clair Regional Monitoring Project, this report describes numerous cooperative water-resources monitoring efforts conducted in the St. Clair River/Lake St. Clair Basin over the last 100 years. Cooperative monitoring is a tool used to observe and record changes in water quantity and quality over time. This report describes cooperative efforts for monitoring streamflows and flood magnitudes, past and present water-quality conditions, significant human-health threats, and flow-regime changes that are the result of changing land use. Water-resources monitoring is a long-term effort that can be made cost-effective by leveraging funds, sharing data, and avoiding duplication of effort. Without long-term cooperative monitoring, future water-resources managers and planners may find it difficult to establish and maintain public supply, recreational, ecological, and esthetic water-quality goals for the St. Clair River/Lake St. Clair Basin.


Rheaume, Stephen J., Brian P. Neff, and Stephen P. Blumer—Cooperative Water-Resources Monitoring in the St. Clair River/Lake St. Clair Basin, Michigan—Open-File Report 2007-1148, Printed Date Posted: June 19, 2007:




What Is Cooperative Water-Resources Monitoring?

How Are Streamflow And Flood Magnitudes Monitored?

How Is Water Quality Monitored?

Ground Water

Surface Water

Inland Lakes

Has Monitoring Detected Pesticides In Tributary Streams?

Can Monitoring Address The Sources Of Mercury In Fish?

Is Rapid Urbanization Causing Water-Quality Problems In The Basin?

The Future Of Cooperative Water-Resources Monitoring

References Cited

Appendix A. Setting, monitoring history, and watershed characteristics data for Lake St. Clair Regional Monitoring Project streamflow and water-quality monitoring sites



  1. Map showing Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River, and major tributary drainage basins.
  2. Image showing a screen capture from WaterWatch of real-time streamflow (shown for February 2, 2007) compared to historical streamflow in Michigan.
  3. Graph showing seventy-two years of daily-average streamflow from the U.S. Geological Survey Clinton River streamflow-gaging station, recorded at Moravian Drive in Mt. Clemens, Michigan, from 1934 to 2006.
  4. Photograph of a newly installed USGS monitoring well used for measuring ground-water levels and water-quality in Michigan.
  5. Map showing locations of selected wells in southeastern Michigan and their concentrations of arsenic.
  6. Map showing streamflow and water-quality data-collection sites of the Lake St. Clair Regional Monitoring Project, Michigan.
  7. Photograph of one of Michigan's 11,000 inland lakes.
  8. Photograph of a USGS scientist measuring the transparency of lake water using a Secchi disk.
  9. Map showing monitored lakes within the Clinton River Basin, Michigan.
  10. Photograph showing pesticides being applied on residential lawns, in homes, and in gardens.
  11. Photograph of pesticides being applied on agricultural lands.
  12. The Michigan Department of Community Health special advisory guide for selected inland lakes in Michigan, which is based on the presence of toxic chemicals that are known to bioaccumulate in fish.


  1. Site number, name, and location of Lake St. Clair Regional Monitoring Project water-quality sites in the St. Clair River/Lake St. Clair Basin, Michigan

For additional information, contact:

U.S. Geological Survey
Michigan Water Science Center
6520 Mercantile Way, Suite 5
Lansing, MI 48911-5991

or visit our Web site at:


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Last modified: Thursday, June 21 2007, 02:30:50 PM
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