Clinton River

Sterling Heights Receives $4.5 Million Grant for Clinton River Restoration Project

The City of Sterling Heights and the City of Utica are proud to announce a $4.5 million grant the communities recently received from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a nine-mile restoration project along the Clinton River, known as the Clinton River Restoration Project. The $4.5 million grant includes no local match and is one of the largest in the city's history.

The project will improve habitat along the designated nine-mile section of the Clinton River upstream from its confluence with the Red Run Drain. Much of the planned work will be done in partnership with the Clinton River Watershed Council (CRWC). The engineering firm Hubbell, Roth & Clark will work as the engineering consultant for the project.

The stream improvements will undoubtedly improve recreation along the Clinton River, which aligns with the City of Sterling Heights’ placemaking and recreation goals as seen in its 2030 Visioning plan. Following the restoration of the river, Sterling Heights plans to continue to pursue additional development opportunities for canoeing and kayaking, hike and bike trails, zip lining, urban camping and a dog park — all to be anchored around the Clinton River.

“The Clinton River is a wonderful natural asset for the City of Sterling Heights, and this incredible $4.5 million grant will help us to further capitalize on placemaking and recreation opportunities within our city,” said Sterling Heights Mayor Michael C. Taylor. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the EPA, the City of Utica, the Clinton River Watershed Council and others to see this project through its completion. When finished, this project will enormously benefit not just our environment, but also the residents of this region by increasing access to our natural resources and potential new community gathering places.”

Project Updates 

September 27, 2017 Update - 70-75 boats have been sent down through the Sterling Heights section of the Clinton River by Clinton River Canoe and Kayak (CRCK). 24 river markers have been posted. In Dodge Park, a water trail stop has been added next to the new bridge. The Clinton River is being maintained to keep open for paddling. If you encounter a blockage, please call City Development at (586)446-2360. 

August 25, 2017 Update - Due to a couple of weather delays and the challengers of the paving conditions, the completion of the path will be pushed back from August 26 to August 31. The contractor will be putting the final lift of asphalt on the remaining section of the path connecting Edison Court the week of August 28. A map of the work can be found here. 

August 14, 2017 Update
- Beginning Thursday, August 17 the contractor working on the Clinton River plans to close the park path system and mountain bike trail head from Edison Court to Dodge Park Bridge to repair and pave approximately 1.6 miles of path through that section. The path will be reopened, weather permitting, on Saturday, August 26. View a map of the work.

The contractor has been installing bank plantings and reseeding bare areas working upstream, starting at Hayes Road. The contractor started river work the week of June 19, 2017 and weather and river permitting, will continue to work upstream. They will be completing some miscellaneous river work from Edison to the Dodge Park bridge followed by path repair and overlay in that same stretch once all river work complete. Then they will proceed upstream with bank stabilization, woody debris blockage removal, and tree vanes. The work will be similar to what can been seen in the segment south of the Dodge Park Bridge. We will aim to keep the path open as much as possible but the work may require temporary closures if we believe safety will be an issue.

View the full presentation revealed at the Sept. 15, 2015 City Council meeting.
In 2018, the City's Recreating Recreation initiative will add permanent launches an landings as well as a kayak and canoe livery. The images below show the EZ Launch Dock style that will be added along the river from Van Dyke to Hayes Road.
EZ Launch Dock
EZ Launch Dock Rendering


In an effort to further improve the Clinton River region of the city, Sterling Heights will also be working with “WaterTowns,” an initiative that uses vegetation, soils, and natural processes to manage storm water and create healthier urban environments. Projects may include changing grassy areas to wildflower gardens, installing rain gardens and using porous pavement in parking lots. This initiative, led by the Clinton River Watershed Council in partnership with Lawrence Technological University, is a result of funding the CRWC received to help local municipalities capitalize on the place making potential of the Clinton River and Lake St. Clair.