Restoration is taking place on the approximately 5-mile Gloede Drain, which begins near 24 Mile and Hayes roads and ends near Romeo Plank Road, north of 19 Mile road, where it empties into the Clinton River.

Restoration is taking place on the approximately 5-mile Gloede Drain, which begins near 24 Mile and Hayes roads and ends near Romeo Plank Road, north of 19 Mile road, where it empties into the Clinton River.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Gloede Drain utilizes $2.3M in federal funds for local environmental investment

By: Nick Mordowanec | Fraser - Clinton Township Chronicle | Published December 6, 2017

 On Nov. 27, near the Italian American Cultural Society, Clinton Township Supervisor Bob Cannon discusses the importance of the drain restoration. Behind him, from left, are Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Clinton Township Clerk Kim Meltzer.

On Nov. 27, near the Italian American Cultural Society, Clinton Township Supervisor Bob Cannon discusses the importance of the drain restoration. Behind him, from left, are Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Clinton Township Clerk Kim Meltzer.

Photo by Deb Jacques

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Macomb County is utilizing federal funding for local water projects, including the approximately 5-mile-long Gloede Drain that runs through Macomb County.

On Nov. 27, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Clinton Township Supervisor Bob Cannon discussed the importance of the drain — as well as how $8.8 million accumulated through the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, or GLRI, is positively impacting local waterways in the region.

The officials met near the Italian American Cultural Society, off of Romeo Plank Road. The drain begins near 24 Mile and Hayes roads, ending near Romeo Plank, north of 19 Mile Road, where it empties into the Clinton River.

The $2.3 million Gloede Drain upgrade affects approximately 52 acres of land, reducing surface runoff, minimizing invasive species like Asian carp, bolstering drain infrastructure, and minimizing soil erosion by way of eradicating sedimentation and contaminants entering the Clinton River and subsequently Lake St. Clair.

Miller said 300 oak trees have been planted to grow into a future “oak savannah,” which will play an environmental role in terms of root systems helping to alleviate heavy rainfalls.

“This project is a vivid demonstration of why the GLRI funding is so incredibly important. … These drains are going to become a huge part of quality of life for Macomb County citizens,” Miller said. “Most importantly, what they do is make sure that we have not only quality of life, but water quality. All of these various drains and creeks ultimately flow into the Clinton River and then, of course, into Lake St. Clair.”

In March of this year, local, state and national politicians expressed trepidation regarding rumors that President Donald Trump’s administration would eliminate approximately $300 million in GLRI funding. Due to a bipartisan approach the past eight years, nearly $2 billion in investments have led to about 3,000 environmental projects.

On May 3, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 309-118 to approve a $1.1 trillion government funding omnibus bill that kept programs running until the fiscal year concluded Sept. 30. The Environmental Protection Agency administers the funds.

Peters, who served with Miller in Congress, said federal funding is integral for projects like the Gloede Drain.

“This is money that is absolutely critical to maintain the integrity of probably the most important natural resource in Michigan, which is our Great Lakes,” Peters said. “And in order to keep the Great Lakes clean, you can’t just be cleaning up the Great Lakes; you’ve got to be cleaning up the tributaries — everything that flows into the lakes.

“This is an entire ecosystem that needs to be protected. People have to be thinking about it in the long term.”

It’s not just about beautification, either, as approximately 40 million people drink water that comes from the Great Lakes. The senator said that officials need to improve the design set forth by nature.

“When we’re fighting in Congress — and there’s some folks who want to take away that money — it’s often a regional issue,” he said. “People in the southwest, or in other parts of the country, are wondering why they’re investing in Great Lakes initiatives.

“It takes a team effort. It’s a bipartisan effort. We’ve always worked in a bipartisan way with the Michigan congressional delegation, both Democrats and Republicans coming together.”

Cannon said Clinton Township is lucky to have three branches of the Clinton River flowing through its community. The Gloede Drain sits on property that was home to a 45-hole golf course just 11 years ago, with wildlife like deer, ducks and fish commonly found in the vicinity.

Hackel said he and Miller share a passion for the region because they were born and raised here.

He said that sometimes it’s important for locals to take a step back and enjoy the natural beauty that suffuses the region, adding that in his seven years of being executive, there has arguably been no better time than now in terms of partnerships, water quality efforts and different county-based government entities working side by side to achieve goals.

“There’s an incredible amount of energy, (with) the people that have this passion for what we’re talking about here. … This is just one. This is just the beginning,” Hackel said. “There’s so much more that is happening in Macomb County that is bringing us back to what we’re all about, and it’s about quality of life.”