Grand River not so Grand

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.

Sara DeJonge


5 responses

  1. It was always implied in my upbringing, primarily by family, that polluting of any degree was unacceptable. It’s never something that was expressly told to me but we just never did it. After I left home though, and went to college, I realized how many people are comfortable with polluting. Whether it’s throwing a gum wrapper out the window or something larger, many people do not seem to care about the consequences. Obviously the pollution you’re addressing is on a much grander scale, but I think the effort to stop pollution starts at this basic level. I think the biggest step is creating awareness. People don’t realize the consequences their pollution has on the natural world. It’s sad that the Grand River has come to this but I hope we can do something to reverse the effects of our negligence.

    Mike Crawford

  2. this was a very interesting story i am not very familiar with this river. it is a very large river wich provided alot of resources for its users the pollution should be stopped and people need to realize how important this river really is not only for food,entertaining but also for the enviroment and the animals that depend on it.

    Abraham Garza

  3. This is really interesting! I am also from Grand Rapids! I had no idea that the pollution is getting better, I knew it was bad, but I had no idea about the clean water act! That is really interesting. I have noticed before how disgusting the river is, a few years ago I went to see the salmon jump and I couldn’t really see anything. I went back this year and I saw many more jump because the water is getting cleaner! I agree that more action needs to be taken in order to clean the river and keep it clean!

    Margaret Schlick

  4. This is a very catchy blog in the way that it talks about the Red Cedar River which is in our campus. People think that the Red Cedar is a bad and unhealthy river which in reality its totally the opposite. The Red Cedar is a healthy river that we the people should protect it from getting polluted. There is a lot of living organism that depend on the river to be clean and healthy. It affects us, people as well with the animals that surround the Red Cedar River.

    Reyes Gonzalez

  5. It is so interesting stroy. i didn’t know Grand River is being polluted by people until at this level even though i am living in Michigan. so through your blog, i came to think we have to pay attention to the recovery of river.

    – jeong KyunHyun

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