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April 6, 2015

SVSU secures DEQ grant to study Bad Axe Creek

Saginaw Valley State University has been awarded a $61,449 grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to monitor the Bad Axe Creek in Huron County for phosphorus and E. coli over the next two years.

The research also will help determine the concentration and potential sources of contamination there.

The grant was part of nearly $300,000 in DEQ grants distributed to universities, governments and nonprofit organizations planning to monitor water quality in Michigan. SVSU received the largest share of the $300,000.

The research will be conducted by David Karpovich, H.H. Dow Endowed Chair of Chemistry, Tami Sivy, associate professor of chemistry, and students involved in SVSU’s Saginaw Bay Environmental Science Institute.

Karpovich said previous research shows Bad Axe Creek carries high E. coli and phosphorus levels. He hopes the study will determine the source for those findings.

“This project will provide data to support development of corrective plans,” he said.

Bad Axe Creek is a tributary to the Pinnebog River, which flows to Saginaw Bay at Port Crescent State Park. Bad Axe Creek has been shown to be a major contributing source of phosphorus to the Pinnebog River, he said.

“This research complements our work to develop tools to develop strategic conservation strategies to help in the restoration of Saginaw Bay, which is a project funded by the University of Michigan Water Center,” Karpovich said.

Researchers with SVSU's Saginaw Bay Environmental Science Institute also are currently performing water quality studies in the Kawkawlin River, Pigeon River, Pinnebog River, Tawas River and Saginaw Bay.

For more information on the Saginaw Bay Environmental Science Institute at SVSU, visit