Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week 2018

June 2 through 10, 2018 has been designated at Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week in Michigan. There are a number of activities around Southeast Michigan to get out and enjoy these abundant resources.

Fresh water is defined as naturally occurring water on the Earth’s surface found in ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, icebergs, bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams and underground as groundwater. Fresh water is generally characterized as having low concentrations (less than 0.5 parts per thousand) of dissolved salts and other total dissolved solids. 

The Great Lakes contain approximately 6 quadrillion gallons of water which is more than one-fifth of the world’s fresh water. The Great Lakes and its watershed are so large, its natural features can be seen from the Moon. It has a coastline of 10,200 miles (if you include its many islands’ coasts, it increases to 10,900 miles) and its water surface area is more than 95,000 square miles. Over 43 percent of all Great Lakes water is located in Michigan. Michigan also has more than 11,000 inland lakes and 36,000 miles of rivers and streams. 

With so much water to enjoy, protect and celebrate, June 2 through 10 has been designated as the Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week in 2018. 

Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) has identified some great activities in southeast Michigan to get out and celebrate our abundance of fresh water resources:


June 2: 

Run with the Sturgeon: 5K and 1K fun run on the Blue Water River Walk on the shores of the St. Clair River in downtown Port Huron. 

June 9: 

River Front Run: 5K and 10K run/walk. Participants receive a performance t-shirt, commemorative medals and one day admission pass to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s Detroit River Days festival. Registration is $35 for 5K and $45 for 10K per participant. 


June 2:

Free Kayak Demo Day: Riverside Kayak Connection (RKC) will offer a variety of kayaks to test at Elizabeth Park in Trenton. 

Paddlepalooza: Includes a race for seasoned paddlers (canoe and kayak) and a shorter, adventure paddle along an eight mile stretch of the Clinton River in Auburn Hills and Rochester Hills. 

Slow Row Lo: A paddling event to enjoy the local water resources begins at the public boat launch off Joslyn Road. Participants are required to have an Oakland County parks Pass and must provide their own craft and PFD.


June 2:

Blue Water Sturgeon Festival: Sponsored by the Friends of the St. Clair River, this event provides close encounters with “Giants of the Great Lakes” and has hands on activities, drop-in workshops, indoor and outdoor displays.

Art Fish Fun Festival: Free event at Beaudette Park in Pontiac includes interactive art and education station to learn about our water. Park clean up starts at 11 a.m. followed by fish painting, bird house building, face painting, bounce house and free lunch. 


June 9: 

Free Fishing weekend: Department of Natural Resources is waiving all fishing licenses fees on Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 10 to enjoy fishing for all species of fish. All other fishing regulations still apply. 

Flip-N-Flop fishing Tournament: A catch and release family event at Thompson Lake in Howell includes a pancake breakfast, fishing bait and prizes for kids ages 2-15. Park entrance fees waived until 10 a.m. A free t-shirt for those signing up before June 1. 

June 10:

Free fishing Weekend: See June 9 details


June 9: 

River Day: A variety of events including nature hikes, canoe trips, fishing derbies, storm drain stenciling, river clean ups and native landscaping to celebrate the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair. 

June 16:

Sprint & Splash: While outside of the Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week, this event at Lake St. Clair Metropark offers a 5K run/walk, Duathlon (5K run & 2-mile paddle), 2-mile kayak, 2-mile stand-up paddle board races and a 6-mile sanctioned stand-up paddle board race. 

While this list is specific to Southeast Michigan, the Great Lakes and Fresh Water Week is a statewide celebration. For information about activities in your area, contact your local watershed council, county health department, Conservation District or river or lake association. 

Thank you to SEMCOG for their assistance in compiling this information. 

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