September 2018


Table of Contents

Bikes on Boats
Only Rain Down the Drain
Watershed Annual Meeting: Save-the-Date!


Bikes on Boats

Local West Michigan couple brings their bikes with them to explore the towns in which they dock their boat.

Pulling into the dock at Boatwerks on a Friday afternoon was a refreshing reminder of the impact that bikes have on our community.  This lovely couple live in Muskegon and decided to travel by boat along the Lakeshore, stopping in Holland for lunch, and then boating further south along the shore.  They each bring a bike onboard and find that having a bike gives them great freedom to travel the last mile, biking to restaurants to enjoy dinner, or simply to enjoy shops downtown.

The Michigan Department of Transportation sponsored a study of the economic benefits of cycling in the Holland area and found that the total economic impact of bicycling in our community is $6.4 million. This includes bike retail sales, bicycling events and vacations in Michigan.

The simplicity of taking bikes along while traveling by boat or by any other mode (train, bus, automobile, etc), also provides a great opportunity for physical activity – which is not only good for your health – it also saves money. The economic impact study found that health care savings due to the physical activity from biking in our region can be up to $2.5 million.  When employees are physically active they take fewer sick days and they are absent from work less often. This same study noted that employers save money when Holland area employees bike. The savings to local employers is calculated to be $1.8 million.

So….consider bringing your bike along the next time you plan some leisure time. It’s a great way to enjoy your community and you too, can see that with a bike you really can go anywhere!

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Only Rain Down the Drain

Please do NOT do this.

Did you know that rain and melting snow are the only substances that should go into storm drains? Anything that enters a storm drain is carried directly to a nearby lake and stream. There it becomes pollution that can negatively impact habitat, recreation and other uses. A discharge to a storm drain that is not composed entirely of rain or snowmelt is known as an Illicit discharge. Illicit discharges include dumping of grass clippings, leaves and litter on the street, soil washing away from unprotected construction sites, direct connections of sanitary sewer lines, emptying powerwashing wastewater into a storm drain, and many other items or substances that are not water! Directly dumping or accidentally spilling substances into storm drains are also considered illicit discharges.

Educational storm drain stenciling in the Macatawa Watershed!

So what should you do? First, remember only rain down the drain! Never dump anything directly into a storm drain and clean up any accidental spills in your driveway before rain can wash it away. Second, if you see an illicit discharge, report it to your local municipality. They will have someone investigate to determine the source so it can be eliminated and cleanup. Once the responsible party is identified, they will be required to clean up or pay to have the discharged cleaned up.
What are we doing? The MACC works to promote stormwater and pollution awareness to area residents in many ways. We publish newsletters and provide handouts at community events. We talk to people about how their actions can have an impact on the watershed. We also work with neighborhoods and community groups to stencil “No Dumping” messages near storm drains. We will be working with volunteers in early October to stencil storm drains in the Westcore Neighborhood. The MACC has stenciling kits that are available to community groups to borrow for storm drain stenciling projects. Contact the MACC to reserve your kit today!

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Save the Date: Watershed Annual Meeting