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Marker Signs To Line Clinton River to Help Emergency Crews Locate People

Marker signs will be posted along the Clinton River in Shelby Township and Utica.

Nearly 50 markers will soon line the more than 7.5 miles of the Clinton River that runs through Shelby Township and Utica to help people enjoying the river better understand where they are.

“As you go down the expressway you see mile markers. It’s the same thing as you go down the river,” said Utica Mayor Jacqueline Noonan.

Shelby Township Firefighter Jeremy Verbeke spearheaded the initiative after it took nearly half an hour to locate and rescue a person on the river last year because the individual could not explain where he had floated.

“It’s just to help us get to people faster,” he said.

In the spring, the Shelby Fire Department shelled out $150 to purchase 37 signs that are now posted along the river in Shelby Township. The most southern sign is at River Bends where Shelby and Utica border.

The signs are in sequential order and placed along areas of the river that are particularly dangerous or troublesome for kayakers, said Verbeke.

Since the installation of the signs, the last few calls on the river have been smooth sailing.

“We’ve actually had two calls out there where people needed help and said, ‘I just passed sign 23,’ and then we know exactly where they are,” said Verbeke.

Verbeke approached Utica and asked if the city would like to post signs on the Clinton River – up to Heritage Park.

The Utica City Council jumped at the opportunity Tuesday and approved the $85 dollar fee for the remaining 13 signs to be placed along the river.

“It’s very difficult to sense exactly where you are. It’s a great idea. My compliments,” said Noonan.

No doubt there has been an increase in kayaking and canoeing along the river since the Outdoor Escorts won a contract with Utica to exclusively run a guided kayak tour along the river and boat rental, utilizing the new canoe launch at Heritage Park.

The company will close for the season on Oct. 31 and reopen in the spring. For more information, call 248 421-3445 or email outdoorescorts@yahoo.com.

Marina Cracchiolo (Editor) October 12, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Do you utilize the Clinton River?
RAKoon October 13, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Green signs in the forrest are hard to see. Even with yellow numbers, they blend right in. I'm surprised anyone knew what marker they went by or that they even exist. I know they are there and have a hard time finding them. Would make more sense to make them blaze orange or neon pink, then you could see them. Great idea to have them, but wish they'd of made them more visible. I'm sure there are those that don't want them to stick out so it doesn't interfere with their 'natural experience' but true safety and usefullness make more sense to me.
RAKoon October 13, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Sure do utilize the Clinton river, the very best river in the lower lower. Feels like you are "Up North" when you get back in there. We see all kinds of wildlife from deer, to mink/weasles, hawks, herons, etc. But people need to know the river is not for novices when the level of the water goes up. There are some tight corners and snags than can be dangerous if you don't know how to navigate your boat. Google "Mighty Clinton River" and find some blogs with river descriptions and explanations of how the levels come into play. There is also the USGS gage for river levels, the blog tells you how to interpret the gage. The Clinton river is truely the jewel of SE MI river recreation.

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