Public Events

Poisonous or venomous?

Photo credit: Cathy Rice

9-17-18 77F/25C, fair, light breeze (4 mph/6 kmh)
Big “Thank you’s” go out to Tom Dennis, Mike St. Pierre, David Hastings, Roy Churchill, Judy Lindberg, Nanette Meier, Diana Kitchen, Mike Edmondson (the one with the devil’s horns!), Laurie Dennis, Michael Coughlin, Linda Hardy, Laura Baranowski, Karen Uhlman, Ellie Banish, and Bob McPherson. Cathy Rice was too busy taking the photo to be in it, and Tom Pennewell also helped but was far ahead of the pack.

Stewardship Spotlight
Show the water some love with Friends! 
Our volunteer stewardship field sessions combine hands-on work such as picking up trash or gardening-like activities and citizen science to help manage local habitats and storm water projects for people, plants and wildlife. Sign up for our e-newsletter at or contact Kirsten Lyons, Stewardship Director, at or 810.294.4965 to learn more.

Ask Amy!

Each week, our environmental educator, Amy Meeker-Taylor, fields a question from our community about local water issues, flora, fauna, or other topics of interest to Friends. You can ask Amy your questions by hitting “reply” or by reaching out to her directly at or 810.488.3975.

Dear Amy,

What is the difference between poisonous and venomous?

At age 6, my son clearly knew the difference. He told me, “Parker said he saw a poisonous spider and I was like Parker, it is VENOMOUS, nobody EATS spiders!”

By definition, venom is an injected toxin, delivered to the victim through a bite or sting. Poison is an ingested toxin, or it may be absorbed through the skin (like Poison Ivy). Here in Michigan we have only one venomous snake, the reclusive Massasauga Rattlesnake. Most often, those who are bitten have attempted to handle the snake and the bite rarely causes death. Venomous insects include the black widow and brown recluse spider, although neither are that common in Michigan.

Upper Reaches

News from our leadership

Our volunteer Board of Directors consists of nine members who are passionate about making the Blue Water Area cleaner and greener. Read about updates from our leadership. For more information, contact Sheri Faust

Photo credit: Lake Champlain Basin Program

Watershed Moments
Water quality and watersheds series

We all live in a watershed! If you live work or play in St. Clair County, your watershed is the St. Clair River. Friends is working to protect and restore the St. Clair River and all of its sub-watersheds.

Stormwater tips

How can you show the water some love? 

– Everything that goes down a storm drain flows into our creeks, rivers and lakes.
– Sweep extra fertilizer, grass clippings and dirt on your driveways back onto your lawn.
– Hosing down your driveway sends these pollutants into storm drains that lead to our beaches.
– Only rain in the drain!
– Never dump motor oil, chemicals, pet waste, leaves, soapy water down the storm drain. All of these end up in our waterways!
– Label your storm drains. Volunteer to label storm drains in your neighborhood to inform residents that they flow directly to our rivers and lakes.

Next week: Which watershed do you live in?

Friends Board of Directors Meeting
Wednesday, September 19 @ 6:30 p.m.
River Rats Club at the Blue Water River Walk, Port Huron

Do you enjoy collaboration and encouragement with like-minded environmentalists, passionate about making the Blue Water Area cleaner and greener? Please consider taking a seat on our Board of Directors! We meet the 3rdWednesday every month at 6:30p.m. at the River Rat building. Come as an observer or our Board Chair, Sheri Faust, would be happy to meet and share with you a Board Member Packet at your convenience. Help create a lasting legacy for the Blue Water Area’s environment! Give a shout out to Sheri at if you want to know more.

Thanks to Jeanne Mackay, Barb Ford, Karen Uhlman, and Christine Danner, another big load of Cottonwood seedlings has been removed from Wetlands County Park!

Monday River Walkers & Trash Talkers
& Citizen Scientists!

Mondays @ 10 a.m.
Blue Water River Walk & Wetlands County Park, Port Huron

Our Monday River Walkers & Trash Talkers group has been meeting to pick up trash and get some fresh air and exercise for over two and a half years now. This group also monitors bird nest boxes, cleans out catch basins, and supports local restaurants with coffee and conservation conversation after our walk and work.

Join us any Monday at 10 a.m. Bring gloves and bring a friend! Meet at the arch at the north entrance to Blue Water River Walk.

Tuesday Field Days
Tuesdays @ 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Watch this newsletter for locations & tasks
Blue Water River Walk, Wetlands County Park & Vantage Point Butterfly Garden in Port Huron

Laurie Dennis, Judy Jones and Barb Ford rescued wetland wildflowers at Judy’s property in the Thumb last week. Thank you all! The plants will be put in at Wetlands County Park this week.

Get hands-on with the habitat every Tuesday during the growing season along the St. Clair River in Port Huron. Each week, we tackle a weed-of-the-week or other stewardship task for about an hour, and also spend about an hour exploring and learning.

UPDATE FOR 9-18-18: This week we’ll spend some time in Wetlands County Park planting our newly rescued wetlands plants. Park by either the USCGC Bramble or NSCS Grayfox dock.

Columbus County Park Field Days
Thursdays @ 2 – 4 p.m.
Columbus County Park, 1670 Bauman, Columbus
Meet in front of the Lodge at the end of the main entrance driveway

We start our field sessions at Columbus County Park with a wildflower walk or other native plant or wildlife exploration, discovering more woodland and prairie species in this vast and varied park each. Join us on Thursday afternoons to examine the flora and fauna and to scout, map and control invasive species. We suggest bringing bug spray and wearing closed-toe shoes and long pants and sleeves.

Save the Swales Stewardship Group
Fridays @ 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
St. Clair County Community College (SC4), Port Huron

We host a weekly Friday volunteer and staff work and learn session in the campus bioswales and rain gardens at St. Clair County Community College (SC4). We also include some citizen science or other learning opportunities into our stewardship. Bring friends, your favorite weeding tools and your natural curiosity. Look for staff and volunteers in neon vests — we’ll be working somewhere in the rain gardens and bioswales in the central parking area or the parking area just south of the Main building. Call Kirsten at 810.294.4965 if you need help finding us. Feel free to drop in or stay for the whole time. Every little bit helps!

Upcoming events: 

Tuesday, September 18 @ 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Field Day (Planting in Wetlands County Park)

Tuesday, September 18 @ 6 p.m.
Michigan Conservation Stewards

WednesdaySeptember 19 @ 6:30 p.m.
Friends of the St. Clair River Board of Directors meeting
River Rats Club at the Blue Water River Walk, Port Huron

Thursday, September 20 @ 2 – 4 p.m.
Columbus County Park Field Day

Friday, September 21 @ 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Save the Swales stewardship group for SC4 Campus Bioswales & Rain Gardens

Saturday, September 22 @ 9 a.m.
Michigan Conservation Stewards

Monday, September 24 @ 10 a.m.
Monday River Walkers & Trash Talkers
Meet at the arch at the north entrance to Blue Water River Walk in Port Huron

Tuesday, September 25 @ 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Field Day (Location & tasks TBD)

Tuesday, September 25 @ 6 p.m.
Michigan Conservation Stewards

Wednesday, September 26 @ 10 a.m.
Michigan Nature Association work day at Wilcox-Warnes in Macomb
RSVP to Bill Atkinson,

WednesdaySeptember 26 @ 6 p.m.
Nature hike & stewardship steering committee meeting
Columbus County Park Lodge

Thursday, September 27 @ 2 – 4 p.m.
Columbus County Park Field Day

Friday, September 28 @ 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Save the Swales stewardship group for SC4 Campus Bioswales & Rain Gardens

Saturday, September 29 @ 9 a.m.
Michigan Conservation Stewards


Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook!

Disclaimer: Blue Water Healthy Living is an online magazine located in Port Huron, Michigan. Our purpose is to promote healthy living by showcasing the Blue Water Area, its people, issues and surroundings. This online magazine is devoted to providing healthy living related stories, local happenings, and commentary. Often inspiring and uplifting, our stories come from our heart and soul to promote the enjoyment of a more fulfilling Blue Water Area lifestyle. The material on this web site is provided for informational and amusement purposes only and is not to be confused with any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions and values of Blue Water Healthy Living.

Our Sponsors

Voices Wanted!

Write for Blue Water Healthy Living
For more information on writing for BWHL….. Click Here!

Be a Part of GBS Media or BWHL

GBS Media