The Plaster Creek watershed contains a variety of interests and communities reliant on the creek. Farms, industry, and higher-income communities dominate the upper reaches of the watershed, while downstream neighborhoods tend to be lower-income, minority communities. Stormwater carries excessive animal waste, sewage contamination, fertilizer, sediments, and other pollutants into the river, leading to severe bacterial contamination. This has a disproportionate impact on the low-income minority communities living downstream. Thanks to a program run through Calvin College, however, this diverse community is coming together to address these stormwater and environmental justice issues through green infrastructure restoration, scientific and social research, and education. Read more here.
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