The Grand River is Michigan’s longest river and is very diverse from where it begins, to where it ends. It starts in a little pond called “Liberty Mill Pond” where it is only a few inches deep and ends in Lake Michigan.
This river used to be booming with fish population, a main factor in the fur trade, an area for hunting, and a large factor in transportation. However, once theindustrial era began around the late 1800’s the pollution of the Grand River shot up. People were not able to receive a food source from the fish anymore and the river smelled so bad that people debated covering the river with cement to block the smell. The Grand River is one of the largest contributors into Lake Michigan and the pollution of the river will only just pollute the lake even more, which is shown in the picture. One can see the brown, polluted water from the river meeting the blue of Lake Michigan. People began treating the river like a wastebasket and all recreational activities ceased because of the high amount of pol
lution. Run off from farming or livestock manure would run into the river, people would throw trash into it, which created bacteria to grow in the river. This problem occurs because heavy rain will carry the sewage or manure into the river and these hazordous pathogens pollute the water, killing fish and making swimming conditions dangerous in the river and lake.
The problem with polluting of the water is the health risks it has on the people and animals. However, there are many steps that can be taken to stop or reduce pollution. Stop treating the river like a trash can and throw materials away where they should go. Another strategy that has been placed into act is the Clean Water Act, which was passed in 1972 and since then, there have been improvements to the river and pollution. Since the industry pollution has decreased greatly, fish have started returning and people are now able to fish and studies show these fish are now safe enough to eat, which was not the case years ago when the water was so polluted. Volunteers could offer to help clean the river and purifiers could be placed in the river to help clean the water. It could then once again become a source of entertainment for the people.