Michigan Paddle Stewards

Join the Paddling Community to Protect the Trails

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Michigan Paddle Stewards

Michigan Sea Grant LogoPeople standing behind kayaks with their flotation vests on and holding paddlesMI Paddle Stewards is a program of Michigan Sea Grant, with funding from the Michigan Invasive Species Grant Program. The Paddle Stewards program battles aquatic invasive species in Michigan by enlisting recreational paddlers to help identify and map invasive species along Michigan’s water trails. Paddle Stewards also receive and share education on ways to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species through paddlesport activities.

You can be a part of this program while doing what you love! Sign up for a brief training session, then use an app on your smartphone to report invasive species from your regular paddle routes. Share what you have learned with other paddlers. In minutes you can make a big difference.

Register for Classes Here

If you have questions or need more information, contact Erica Clites (clitese1@msu.edu) at Michigan Sea Grant.

Michigan Water Trails appreciates the support of the Michigan Paddle Stewards program on behalf of this website.

Michigan Water Trails Manual

Updated in 2022! Aquatic invasive species (AIS) pose serious threats to Michigan’s freshwater resources, disrupting ecosystems, local economies and recreational opportunities. These harmful invasives can “hitchhike” on paddling gear from one water body to another. You can help fight aquatic invasive species by cleaning your equipment and learning to report invasives when you see them. The Michigan Water Trails Manual now has an entire chapter dedicated to fighting invasive species.

The manual is intended to provide local officials, water advocacy organizations, paddlers and visionary citizens with the resources and tools to develop a sustainable water trail in their community. Given the rich diversity of paddling experiences in Michigan, each water trail planning effort will be unique. This manual will help you develop a water trail that is tailored to your community’s capacity, resources and needs.

Download the Michigan Water Trails Manual (2nd Edition, Oct. 2021).

MSU Extension News Digests

Michigan State University Extension connects the people of Michigan and throughout the world with the latest in news, research and analysis from MSU Extension's vast network of educators and specialists. To help in that effort, MSU Extension offers News Digests containing the latest content MSU Extension has to offer. Digest subscribers can sign up for as many categories as they are interested in. MSU Extension does not sell, rent, or give your name or address to anyone. At any point, a subscriber can select the link at the bottom of every digest to unsubscribe, or to adjust the categories they want to subscribe to. Subscribe to MSU Extension News Digests. Scroll down and click on Water Trails to receive an occasional news digest on Water Trails news from Extension Educator Mary Bohling.

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Download Invasive Species Signage

Invasive Species Sign Example

Michigan Paddle Stewards has signage you can download and print or have manufactured to inform paddlers in your area about invasive species.

Download Signs Here