What is a River or Stream?


Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
River and Stream Ecosystems

Did you know the state of Michigan contains over 36,000 miles of streams and rivers?

Streams and rivers in the state of Michigan are formed by rain, by natural springs, by water entering from the surrounding soil, or by marshes and lakes. Some streams get their start from melting snow.

As the amount of water increases and begins to flow faster, the soil begins to erode away and a stream or river is formed. Streams and rivers eventually flow into lakes carrying nutrients from the soil. Nutrients that enter lakes from streams and rivers are very important for the fish and wildlife--they need nutrients to survive.

Click on the PLAY button to the right and see how a stream can be formed!

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