Public Art With An Environmental Message

Call For Artists!

The Thumb Coast Storm Drain Art Project is a new public art initiative created by Friends of the St. Clair River.

Get drawing! We are looking for artists of all ages and abilities to submit artwork for our Thumb Coast Storm Drain Art Project! Murals painted adjacent to storm drains will be used to bring awareness to the connectivity between storm drains and waterways. Many people are unaware storm drains flow directly to rivers and that storm water runoff is never treated before it enters our rivers. This project is combining positive messages with public art to inspire a generation of environmental leaders.

Get going! We are accepting artwork proposals now through April 30th. Then, the selected artists will bring their art to life on sidewalks in June, July and August. Art will appear at twenty-four storm drains spread across downtown Port Huron, St. Clair, and Marine City at highly visible locations like the Bridge To Bay Trail, sidewalk intersections, and park entrances.

Get creative! You can help protect the St. Clair River by submitting your art! Artists are invited to create colorful, fun designs that reflect the importance of keeping our water clean. Themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Keep it clean, we're all downstream
  • Storm drains aren't garbage cans
  • Only rain in the drain
  • Be the solution to pollution

Get paid! Artists will be paid a stipend of $150 per drain to cover their time for each storm drain painting completed. If selected, you must supply your own brushes, but you will be provided with paint and sealer. We encourage artists to submit multiple designs!

Storm Drain Art Inspiration


  • Each submission must include the artists name, city, email, and phone number
  • Indicate if you are an Adult (over 18) or Student (provide age, grade, and school)
  • Mentors and youth will be paired together, but work on their own separate murals near each other
  • Youth whose designs are chosen that are too young to complete painting by themselves will be partnered with another artist to help bring their design to life
  • Final designs will be selected via jury and announced in May
  • Painting will occur to coincide with local festivals: June - St. Clair Art Fair; July - Port Huron's Blue Water Fest; August - Marine City's Maritime Days
  • Each mural's life cycle is projected up to three years. Surfaces must be properly prepared, and art will be maintained with a sealant
  • This website will be updated to include each artist's name, title of each work, and the location of the storm drain murals
  • Three ways to submit your designs:
    1. Email:
    2. In-Person: 301 N. Ninth Street, St. Clair (Please email first for an appointment time)
    3. Mail: Friends of the St. Clair River, P.O. Box 611496, Port Huron, MI 48061


  • Approximately 25 sq ft of space per mural
  • Incorporates "Keep It Clean" storm drain themes
  • Family friendly (PG-rated)
  • No copyrighted images
  • No political or religious propaganda
  • No business advertising


Test your designs on our storm drain art coloring page! Sometimes it's easier when you can see what you're working with, so artists of all ages can choose to submit their design on the coloring page or submit a freehand design.

Project Summary
The Thumb Coast Storm Drain Art Project is a public environmental art initiative with a call to action. Through art blended with education we can create positive change to improve waterways, protect fish and wildlife, and provide safe drinking water. This project pairs mentor artists working with youth to create career exposure and civic engagement opportunities.

Project Partners
The Storm Drain Art Project is spearheaded by Friends of the St. Clair River with collaboration from the River Rec Teen Zone, local Downtown Development Authorities, Blue Water Creativity, and the St. Clair Art Association. Representatives from each organization will determine the winning designs.

Project Funding
Funding for this project is provided by the Community Foundation of St. Clair County - Blue Water Arts Committee, River Rec Teen Zone, St. Clair Art Association, and the City of Port Huron. This is only the third project of it's kind in Michigan. - thank you for your support!

Organization Information
Founded in 2007, Friends of the St. Clair River is the Thumb Coast’s largest environmental nonprofit. Our mission is to protect and restore the St. Clair River watershed through community education, environmental monitoring, hands-on stewardship, and advocacy. We are committed to helping communities make the best decisions for rivers and clean water so that green solutions become the preferred way to improve our quality of life.

Questions? Reach out to Lydia Nicholas, Environmental Field Technician, at