Dole Family Foundation Donates $15,000 to Protect Water Quality

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September 25, 2017
The Watershed Center Grand Traverse Bay is pleased to announce a $15,000 grant from the Dole Family Foundation to protect water quality in the Elk River Chain of Lakes watershed.
“We’re thrilled that the Dole Family Foundation continues their commitment to clean, healthy water in our community,” said Christine Crissman, The Watershed Center’s executive director. “The Elk River Chain of Lakes watershed contributes 60% of the surface water flowing into Grand Traverse Bay and plays a critical role in the water quality of the bay and Lake Michigan.”

The Dole Family Foundation indicated a preference to fund significant grants that involved multiple players tackling the same issue, which was the impetus for five nonprofits to join forces for water quality. Leading the effort are Three Lakes Association, Antrim Conservation District, and Torch Conservation Center with support from Torch Lake Protection Alliance and The Watershed Center. “While we may represent different organizations, we all have a common goal to protect water quality,” said Peg Comfort, Torch Conservation Center Board Member. “We aligned on three outcomes for this grant, which are to create a searchable water quality digital database for the Elk River Chain of Lakes watershed, establish a baseline assessment of Torch Lake, and build the capacity of local organizations to monitor and analyze water quality.”

Antrim Conservation District is especially looking forward to creating a searchable water quality database.

“There have been dozens of studies conducted over the past 40 years,” said Tom Clement, District Manager for the Antrim Conservation District. “We have data in many formats – everything from hand written field record sheets to digital databases – stored in numerous locations. The ability to have all of our historical and current data in one place for everyone to access is a major step forward.”

The project is expected to kick-off this month and run through June 2018. The project also includes matches of cash and in-kind services from partner organizations.
Christine Crissman, Executive Director, (231) 935-1514