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Clinton River Watershed

What is a watershed?

A watershed is another word for a river basin. It’s an area of land that drains into a common body of water.

Ever wonder where all that rain and melting snow goes when it washes down the drain in the parking lot? In most of Macomb County, the eastern half of Oakland County, and small areas of southern Lapeer and St. Clair counties, this water makes its way into the Clinton River and eventually out to Lake St. Clair.

The land that drains into the Clinton River covers 760 square miles and includes more than1,000 miles of streams in addition to the 80-mile main branch.

The Clinton River Watershed
The Clinton River watershed covers roughly 40 percent of eastern Oakland County, 75 percent of Macomb County, and small portions of southern Lapeer and St. Clair counties. The river and its tributaries flow through 60 rural, suburban, and urban communities with a total population of more than 1.4 million.

Subwatershed management plans provide a framework for communities to collaboratively address various issues related to water quality. For example, subwatershed management plans include language about building practices, land-use planning, public education, and other relevant topics. Each community and organization represents one entity essential to the success of watershed management. Strategic planning done at a local level will have great influence on the future of the Clinton River watershed and beyond. These plans serve as a map to that future.

Clinton River East SubwatershedClinton East Subwatershed
Area: approximately 130 square miles

Counties: Oakland and Macomb

Primary Land Uses: natural areas, residential, industrial/commercial

Open Water: 128 linear miles of open channel drains, Middle Branch and Main Branch of the Clinton River, and 7 miles along Lake St. Clair

Municipalities: Bruce Township, Clinton Township, Fraser, Harrison Township, Macomb Township, Mt. Clemens, Ray Township, Village of Romeo, Shelby Township, Sterling Heights, Utica, Washington Township

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