Red Cedar River (Michigan)


Red Cedar River (Michigan)

The Red Cedar River is a westward flowing river in Michigan which is a tributary of the Grand River. Its source is Cedar Lake which is located in Marion Township in the southeastern corner of Livingston County, and it runs about 45 miles through Okemos, East Lansing, including the campus of Michigan State University, and finally Lansing where it empties into the Grand River. It has a West and Middle branch, each of which also originates in southern Livingston County.

It is not navigable by boats any larger than recreational size, and is not an important shipping route. Its watershed area is estimated at 472 square miles, and it has 12 tributaries of its own. The river is perceived by many members of the East Lansing community to be devoid of life and to be quite dangerous. However, since the national Clean Water Act in 1972, the river has greatly improved and is safe for swimming 74% of the year (the exception usually being right after heavy rains which bring higher levels of E. Coli from runoff waters). The Red Cedar is regularly monitored by MSU Water with the contaminant reports posted by the Michigan State University International Center. The river is named for the trees commonly known as "red cedar" that were prevalent and still are somewhat common near the river's source and beginning length. The tree however, is properly a type of juniper, "Juniperus virginiana".

Importance to Michigan State University

The Red Cedar River is an iconic natural landmark to all Spartans. The name of the river is featured in the first line of MSU's fight song, and MSU students are often found studying in the campus park along the river's banks. Students, faculty, alumni and visitors frequently feed the large community of Mallard ducks that congregate year-round near the river dam south of the Administration Building, which contributes to overfeeding and E Coli contamination. Despite the perceived problem of E. Coli, the river boasts a large amount of life ranging from caddis and hex larva to trout and bass.fact|date=March 2008 The river is popular in the summer for canoeing and kayaking. (The campus canoe dock is self-mockingly named Red Cedar Yacht Club.) In the winter, the river often freezes over and many students enjoy playing on the ice despite the inherent danger.

ee also

*List of Michigan rivers

External links

* [http://mi.waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv/?site_no=04112500&PARAmeter_cd=00060,00065 Real time water data]
* [http://www.ingham.org/hd/ENVHLTH/Surface%20Water/RCSampling%20Sites.htm Red Cedar Watershed testing sites map]
* [http://www.inghamconservation.com/Main%20Pages/Watershed%20Project.htm Red Cedar Watershed Initiative]
* [http://greatlakeswiki.org/index.php/Red_Cedar_River_%28Michigan%29 Great Lakes Wiki entry]


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