oil spill booms Flint River outfall 001

This post will be updated as information is available. Last update 9/20/2022.

On June 15th, 2022, a fisherman alerted authorities to an oily substance contaminating the Flint River just north of Dort Hwy in the city of Flint. Local, state, and federal authorities responded, and testing tied the spill to Lockhart Chemical Co, located on James P Cole Blvd. To date, more than 20,000 gallons of waste has spilled into the Flint River.

The Lockhart property is drained through storm sewer outfall 001 into the Flint River. The spill was a mix of industrial chemical waste from an underground storage system that was not maintained, causing the chemicals to leach into the soil, and then into the storm drain system. Work is still underway to monitor and test the river, and to ensure no further materials enter the water. This process is ongoing and the information we receive changes regularly. As of the most recent EGLE citation sent to Lockhart on August 18th, Lockhart was still allowing discharge of petroleum products and white residuals into the groundwater and/or the Flint River, and had not voluntarily complied with EGLE’s previous orders to prevent further spills.

From the August 19th MLive article: “State records show that concerns about the property date back decades, including a report by the city more than 18 years ago that indicated groundwater contaminated with volatile organic compounds was infiltrating into a city sewer from the Lockhart property, located at 4302 James P. Cole Boulevard.”

Lockhart Chemical resumed operations at its facility with a modified cease and desist order and updated wastewater discharge permit from the City of Flint, including increased testing requirements. They are not, however, permitted by the state to discharge into the stormwater system, or use their underground waste storage system. EGLE found out Lockhart had in fact resumed using the underground storage system on September 12th.

The state Attorney General, in cooperation with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department, delivered an order on September 19th to block Lockhart from using the deteriorated waste storage trench and tunnel system to prevent further discharges to the soil and river. According to MLive, this was the first such action by the state in more than 30 years. The order requires Lockhart to pump its waste into above ground storage tanks until it can be transported off site for disposal. Failure to comply can be met with fines of $25,000 per day.

FRWC and the Genesee County Health Department recommend avoiding eating any fish caught on the Flint River Downstream of Stepping Stone Falls.

At this time, FRWC does not have a full understanding of the impact of this spill on humans or wildlife. Our staff examined the river just after the official no-contact order was lifted, and saw continuing visual evidence of chemical contamination from Grand Traverse St to Mitson Blvd. Because of this, FRWC recommends the public AVOID contact with the Flint River downstream of Stepping Stone Falls in Genesee County, including through the city of Flint, Flushing, and Montrose. Do not kayak, fish, or play in this part of the river until further notice. Do not eat any fish caught on the Flint River downstream of Stepping Stone Falls.

FRWC is working with independent experts to evaluate the chemical testing results obtained from the state and assess our operations going forward. As of right now, all FRWC activities on the Flint River downstream of Stepping Stone Falls are suspended until further notice. FRWC is also working on an ongoing monitoring plan to continue testing the river for effects of the chemicals. We will update when we have more information.

Snapping Turtle on the Flint River 6-28-2022

Impacts on the Flint River Ecosystem

Look and you will find rich biodiversity along the Flint River. Many of these species help inform us that the Flint River supports a healthy ecosystem.

  • River otters in Lapeer County
  • Eagles, heron, and osprey all along the river, including in downtown Flint
  • Muskrat, beaver, turtle, and deer at every turn

Contamination like the Lockhart spill is a direct threat to the wildlife and people that rely on the river for home, food, and play. We are still unsure how this spill has or will affect wildlife. We reiterate – Please DO NOT eat fish caught in the Flint River downstream of Stepping Stone Falls until further notice.

We must work to ensure that our environmental laws are enforced. If you see something wrong with the river (or any body of water), say something immediately by calling the Pollution Environmental Alert System (PEAS) at 1-800-292-4706.

Media Coverage:

(oldest to newest)

10/6/2021 MLive: Past Lockhart Discharge

6/15/2022 MLive: Thousands of Gallons of Oil-based Material Spilled

6/16/2022 MLive: Lockhart Likely Source

6/16-7/6/2022 EPA Site Profile & Updates

6/17/2022 MLive: Search Continues for Location of Breach

6/18/2022 MLive: No Contact Order Remains in Place

6/24/2022 MLive: Promising Lead on Breach

6/27/2022 MLive: Health Order Narrowed

7/7/2022 WNEM 5: Main Breach Identified

7/8/2022 MLive: Chemical Spill Cancels Flotilla

7/28/2022 NBC 25: Lockhart Had Previous Violations

8/19/2022 MLive: Lockhart Cited Again, State Says Operations Have Not Improved

9/12/2022: Flint Beat: Clean Up, Investigation Efforts Ongoing

9/19/2022 ABC 12: State Takes Action After Lockhart Chemical Spill

9/19/2022: EGLE: Order to Lockhart Chemical


Saturday, August 6th, 2022, 1pm-5pm, on the grounds at Tenacity Brewing. On-water event is cancelled for 2022.

What: 2022 Flotilla Pirate Fest (on-land only)

Host: Flint River Corridor Alliance

Where: Grounds of Tenacity Brewing, 119 N. Grand Traverse St, Flint MI 48503

When: Saturday, August 6th, 1pm-5pm

Admission: $5 at the door – cash and card accepted

Parking: Available on-site at Tenacity Brewing – if this is full, there is ample street parking on Grand Traverse and Kearsley Streets.

Ahoy! Join the Flint River Corridor Alliance and Tenacity Brewing for Flotilla Pirate Fest – an on-land pirate-themed party for the entire family. Admission is $5 at the door (cash or credit).

Entertainment includes live music by Roy Ozier & Friends, and Fernando Silvario Solis y El Sueño, sprinklers and water toys, a photo booth, and a treasure hunt for kids. The event will culminate in a costume contest, so come dressed in your piratey best!

Merchandise, food, and beverages will be available for purchase, including custom Pirate Fest shirts (unisex tee & ladies’ cut tank) and stickers, tropical sno-balls, and popcorn, as well as Tenacity’s hand-crafted beverages and Vehicle City Tacos.

We couldn’t do any of this without the support of our loyal sponsors, with Pirate Fest being presented by Seadog Sponsors Kettering University and General Motors-NAETC. Buried Treasure sponsors include Mott Community College and Wade Trim. Jolly Roger sponsors include Gazall Lewis Architects and Stantec. Sea Chantey sponsors include The Walter, Rowe, United Way of Genesee County, Atkins-Fick, and Flint City T-Shirts.

Join us on Saturday, August 6th or walk the plank. Yo ho ho!



Reach out to organizer Sarah Scheitler, Corridor Alliance Manager, with questions: or 810-241-6966.

Seadog Sponsors:


Buried Treasure Sponsors:


Jolly Roger Sponsors:


Sea Chantey Sponsors:


Saturday, August 6th, 2022, 1pm-5pm, on the grounds at Tenacity Brewing. On-water event is cancelled for 2022.

Flint, Michigan

July 7th, 2022

Flint’s annual Flint River Flotilla is being replaced by an on-land Flotilla Pirate Fest at Tenacity Brewing on Saturday, August 6th, 2022 due to the unknown impacts of the chemical spill on the Flint River last month.

“We have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2022 on-the-water Flint River Flotilla in light of ongoing questions surrounding the Flint River chemical spill that began on June 15th. We simply do not have enough time to ensure our concerns about the impacts of the chemical spill are answered and to plan a safe and fun event for the Flint community,” said Sarah Scheitler, Corridor Alliance Manager for the Flint River Corridor Alliance.

The on-land Flotilla Pirate Fest will be a themed, family-friendly party open to the public with a $5 admission. There will be live entertainment, a costume contest, a treasure hunt for kids, sprinklers and water toys, food and beverages available for purchase, and more. The event is a fundraiser to support the work of the Flint River Corridor Alliance around the river system within the city of Flint. 

“We recognize the dedication of Flotilla supporters, volunteers, and staff, and we want to celebrate that. There will be no on-the-water event this year, but we hope this party will uplift our Flint River community and continue to spread the word about the importance of protecting the waters that belong to all of us,” expressed Corridor Alliance Chair Kathleen Gazall.

The Flint River Flotilla was founded by the Flint River Corridor Alliance in 2014 as a way to build community and fun around Flint River. The annual event has seen upwards of 300 people in tubes, canoes, and kayaks float down the Flint River in Flint from Tenacity Brewing to Mott Park Recreation. The Flint River Corridor Alliance states that they hope to return the event to the Flint River in 2023.

What: 2022 Flotilla Pirate Fest (on-land only)

Host: Flint River Corridor Alliance

Where: Grounds of Tenacity Brewing, 119 N. Grand Traverse St, Flint MI 48503

When: Saturday, August 6th, 1pm-5pm

Admission: $5 at the door – cash and card accepted

Are you ready to choose your own adventure on the Flint River Flotilla ’21 – Expedition on the Flint? Will you encounter river creatures, or find buried treasure? It’s up to you! The Flint River Flotilla returns for its 7th year on Sat., Aug. 7th, 2021, with launches from 10am – 2pm. Visit our event page to register, sign up to be a volunteer or sponsor, order merch, and get the full info!

Flint River Flotilla How-To

Ready, Set, Adventure!

1. Purchase tickets & pre-order your Flotilla gear here through Thursday, August 5th at 5pm. Day-of registration will begin no earlier than 12pm on Saturday, 8/7.

2a. Shuttling will be limited due to social distancing. Please drop your flotation devices, kayaks, canoes, life jackets, etc. and extra people at Tenacity Brewing (119 N. Grand Traverse) and then proceed with your vehicle to the parking area at Mott Park and hop on the shuttle back to the launch site.

2b. Park at Mott Park Rec Area near the Paddlers’ Landing – enter off Sunset Dr. just east of Ballenger Hwy (see map below).

3. Hop on the shuttle (courtesy of Mott Community College & MTA) to the registration and launch site at Tenacity Brewing, 119 Grand Traverse

The shuttle service begins at 9:00am and runs until 2pm. NO FLOATS ON THE BUS! All shuttle riders must wear a mask while on the bus and have a forehead temperature check. If this is a problem, please plan to find alternate transportation to Tenacity Brewing. There is no parking at Tenacity for Flotilla participants.

4. Check in at the registration table and get a hand stamp showing you have paid and completed your liability waiver. All participants must wear a life jacket. No alcohol or glass on the river.

5. Take a group photo at the photo station sponsored by General Motors & NAETC.

6. Enjoy your Expedition on the Flint!

7. Your adventure will end back at the Mott Park Rec Area and the Paddlers’ Landing, where you will receive your Flotilla ’21 sticker.

*  Event will occur rain or shine. Severe weather may delay start time. *If you don’t feel well, please stay home! 

Flint River Flotilla ’21 Shirt

The Flint River Flotilla ’21 shirt is available for pre-order here (thru 7/26) in 3 soft styles: unisex tee, ladies’ cut racerback tank, and unisex tank. Unisex 2021 tees and vintage 2019 and 2020 tees will also be available for purchase day-of at Flotilla registration.

Shirts are the following styles:

Unisex Tee – District DT6000 – cotton-poly – Dusty Peach – XS to 4XL

Ladies’ Cut Tank – District DM138L – cotton-poly – Dusty Peach – XS to 4XL (no Med.)

Unisex Tank – District DT5300 – cotton-poly – Heathered White – XS to 4XL

Sponsor logos on the back.




Fliric coloring page

Fliric is a bit shy, but she would like to introduce herself. She is a creature who lives in our beautiful Flint River. She’s spent most of her life quietly enjoying nature and swimming in the cool water, but she loves her home so much that she just had to start telling us about it. Because Fliric has never been in public before, she’s not quite sure what to wear. Can you help her pick out her colors? Fliric, like a lot of animals in colder climates, likes to have winter colors and summer colors. Use this coloring page to help her decide what they should be! The winners will get a fun prize!

Deadline: 8pm, Sunday, July 4th – email images to or drop off paper coloring sheets to 1300 Bluff Street, Flint, MI 48504.

It is with very heavy hearts that we say goodbye to an invaluable member of the Corridor Alliance’s board and executive committee. Alisa Stewart (formerly Craig), passed away on March 24th, 2020 as a result of an auto accident, and donated her organs as a gift of life.

Alisa served on our Board with love, integrity and always had the biggest heart when it came to our mission for our Flint River. It is hard to believe that she is no longer with us, but her spirit always will be. She was truly an amazing human with a smile that will forever warm our hearts.

“Our executive committee meetings were like siting around the conference room table with sisters. We laughed, we brainstormed, we got things done and we were a team. It’s hard to believe that we won’t see that wonderful smile of hers or that magical energy she had.” — Kathleen Gazall, Corridor Alliance Board Chair.

Our community will feel this great loss. She loved her job, she loved volunteering and giving back. She loved all of us.

Please keep her children and her family in your thoughts.

With love and peace – Kathleen Gazall, Chair; Rebecca Fedewa, Vice Chair; Cheryl McHallam, Treasurer; Sarah Scheitler, Corridor Alliance Manager; and the Corridor Alliance Board of Directors.

Hurley Medical Center, where Alisa served as the Director of Wellness Services, shared a video of Alisa’s final “Honor Walk” through the hospital in recognition of her Gift of Life. Click here to view this moving tribute.

Merger will consolidate efforts to protect, promote, and improve Flint River Watershed

(Flint, Mich.) – The Flint River Watershed Coalition is pleased to announce a merger with the Flint River Corridor Alliance. “The opportunities this merger brings are well-timed,” said Kathleen Gazall, FRCA Board President, “These two organizations have worked closely together since the founding of the Corridor Alliance in 2007. As a combined entity, we will be better stewards of our organizational resources and expand our capacity to revitalize the river at a time when our joint work on initiating the Riverfront Restoration in Downtown Flint is coming to fruition.”    

“We are excited that the Corridor Alliance is now an official chapter of the Flint River Watershed Coalition,” said Rebecca Fedewa, Executive Director of the Flint River Watershed Coalition. “This decision is well-aligned with our mission to serve the entire Flint River Watershed. The merger gives us more capacity to work on community reinvestment in the Flint River Corridor without redirecting any resources away from the other communities in our watershed.”

Under the merger, effective January 1st, 2018, the Corridor Alliance became an official chapter of the Flint River Watershed Coalition. The Corridor Alliance Chapter will continue to work along the river corridor in the city of Flint with annual events such as Cycling Circles and the Flint River Flotilla, as well as with partnerships on projects like installing a Paddlers’ Landing at Mott Park Recreation Area. The Flint River Watershed Coalition continues to maintain its broader focus on all seven counties that make up the Flint River Watershed through projects such as water quality monitoring, the GREEN environmental education program, the Flint River Paddling Program, and annual Stewardship Day activities.



Funds Will Be Used Towards Kayak/Canoe Landing For 2018 Event

(Flint, Mich.)-  The Flint River Flotilla scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 5 will be postponed until 2018.  The Flint River Corridor Alliance (FRCA) decided to postpone the event due to construction work being done upstream from where the float takes place.  In lieu of taking part of the Flotilla, the public is encouraged to participate in paddles scheduled along other portions of the river through the Flint River Watershed Coalition.

FRCA Director Vanessa Ferguson said, “The Flotilla offers a great opportunity for everyone to see what a great asset the Flint River is for our community. Because of the Consumers Energy dredging/clean-up project taking place upstream on the river we have reached the difficult decision to postpone the event.”

To learn more about the East Boulevard Remediation project visit  The water quality of this portion of the Flint River is monitored daily.  The DEQ reports that all testing results have been within permit thresholds.

“The FRCA hopes to make 2018 bigger and better than ever before.  We have worked with our sponsors to secure funding for a paddlers’ landing at the ending point for the Flotilla,” explained Ferguson.  “Anyone who has participated in the Flotilla knows what a great asset this landing will be to create easier access in and out of the river in Mott Park.”

The landing will be located inside Mott Park off Sunset and Ballenger Highway.  The FRCA is coordinating with the City of Flint and with the Mott Park Recreation Area Board to move forward with the project.  The goal is to begin work on the landing this fall.  Sponsors to date for the project include General Motors, Hurley Medical Center, ROWE Professional Services Company and Diplomat Pharmacy.

As an alternative to participating in the Flint River Flotilla this year, the FRCA is encouraging individuals to register for paddles with the Flint River Watershed Coalition (FRWC) which are outside the area of the Consumers Energy Work. The cost for the paddles range from $10 to $25 per person and pre-registration is required.  Anyone interested in registering for one should visit: for more information.

The FRCA was established in 2007, to increase the overall investment and health of the Flint River Corridor.   The purpose of the Alliance is to improve access to the waterway through the restoration of existing resources and to create new opportunities for recreation along the river.

“We appreciate the public’s support of the Flint River Flotilla and understand that there will be disappointment regarding this year’s cancellation.  Next year we look forward to showcasing all the great improvements that will have been completed along the river.  Projects range from the current construction work to the installation of the landing at Mott Park to construction connected to the Flint Riverfront Restoration Plan,” said Ferguson.

Anyone interested in learning more about the paddlers’ landing or in participating in a FRWC paddle should contact the FRCA on Facebook, at or by email Vanessa Ferguson at



The second annual Cycling Circles event will take place at Chevy Commons on September 30 from 1 to 3 p.m.  The event was created to give children a chance to bike along the paths at the site.  We serve as a sponsor along with other community partners including the Genesee County Land Bank, Genesee County Parks, Genesee County Health Department, Hurley Medical Center and more.


The installation of a flower bed was completed at the entrance to Chevy Commons in September.  The flower bed will be the eventual location for a sign welcoming people to the site.  The work was completed in conjunction with funding from Keep Genesee County Beautiful.

14305461_1189100134480517_754225810921923917_o 14311403_1189099924480538_7203760237838920475_o