to the Bean!
The Bean/Tiffin Watershed Coalition is a group of residents, farmers, lake and stream property owners, Hillsdale USDA-NRCS, local government representatives, non-profit organizations -- all concerned with protection of the streams and lakes of the Bean Creek Watershed in the Lake Erie basin. A largely agricultural watershed, the Bean is unique in southern Michigan with several excellent coldwater tributaries. It also has history of water quality problems in several stream stretches, including erosion and sedimentation, pathogen contamination from failed septic systems, and bacterial contamination from intensive livestock operations. The Coalition is affiliated with the non-profit Community Action Agency of Hillsdale, Lenawee, and Jackson Counties.
Bean Creek has its headwaters near Devil's Lake in lower Michigan. The stream flows south through Michigan to the Tiffin River in Ohio, which joins the Maumee River, entering Lake Erie at Toledo, Ohio. The Bean Creek Watershed (sometimes called the Upper Tiffin) includes three small towns, Addison in the north, Hudson halfway downstream, and Morenci at the Ohio border.
The Bean's main tributaries are Branch Creek, St. Joseph Creek, an excellent-quality stream in its headwaters, with numerous mussel species (see short videos of the St. Joseph Creek on YouTube); Lime Creek, which has stretches listed as impaired -- Michigan 303(d) list; Toad Creek and Silver Creek.
Endangered Species in the Bean Creek Watershed
An endangered fish -- the redside dace (Clinostomus elongatus) -- has been documented in the Watershed, once near the Bean's outflow from Devil's Lake, and more recently just north of Hudson. The redside dace is legally protected in Michigan. It requires undisturbed headwaters streams with rocky riffles for spawning and overhanging vegetation for cool water.
Redside dace (photo & more information: MNFI)
The endangered salamander mussel (Simpsonaia ambigua) was documented near Morenci in the 1930s. The Coalition is working for a grant to re-survey its particular habitat, under flat rocks. Several other species of mussels (clams) found in the Watershed are rare – slippershell mussel is Threatened in Michigan, 2 others are of "special concern" in Michigan.
EVENTS –"Float the Bean!" – Sunday, Sept 12, 2010 – Bean Creek Heritage Festival, Hudson
Starting off at the Jackson St bridge...
Under the RR bridge at Main Street...
Clear water... and the floaters-turned-clean-up crew!
(Also, photos from Float the Bean, 2009)
"Clean the Bean 2" – Saturday, Aug 22, 2009 (see full page of photos here)
HUDSON – 37 volunteers helped clean up Bean Creek through downtown Hudson on Aug. 22, pulling out a dozen tires, several 55-gallon drums, miscellaneous car parts, and other trash. The cleanup was sponsored by the City of Hudson, in coordination with the Bean/Tiffin Watershed Coalition, through a Michigan Volunteer River, Stream, and Creek Cleanup Grant of $2,125. The Department of Environmental Quality selected eighteen organizations to receive these grants, which are administered by the Great Lakes Commission.
2008 -- Earth Day, Earth Week at Riverside Natural Area, Morenci. New signs at the road and in the park, donated by the City of Morenci and by the Green Earth Club of Morenci High School (GECKOs) were dedicated during a sunny afternoon, April 24. Students from the High School Math & Science Club conducted a stream search for macroinvertebrates; GECKOs cleaned up the stream and the park. Volunteers with the Bean/Tiffin Watershed Coalition constructed a bench beside Bean Creek.
See more photos from the stream search and cleanup, April 24, 2008
Grants and Studies
on the Bean" project, 2003-2004, funded by an EPA
Environmental Education grant -- The Watershed Coalition worked with
8th graders in a stream search for aquatic insects. Students wrote short
pieces about their findings, with selections published in local papers,
and all the writings published on this site. See photos and writings from
Addison (Oct.3, 2003), Hudson
(Sept. 26, 2003), Morenci (April 30, 2004).
The grant also funded a map of Bean
Creek and its public parks, highlighting native species found there.
Copies of the map and stream search equipment were donated to all participating
Bean Creek Watershed in Michigan
Watershed Facts (from USDA-NRCS)