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Protecting Northern Michigan's ​Water Resources

Little Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Plan

Little Traverse Bay Watershed is at an important crossroads. On one road lies the degraded water quality that will result if past abuses are left uncorrected and the development predicted for this region occurs without attention to reducing polluted runoff and protecting shorelines. On the other road lies the opportunity to unite the community in an effort to implement a results-oriented plan that recommends tangible actions to ensure healthy waters. We hope that the Little Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Plan provides the map to ensure that the waters of the Little Traverse Bay Watershed will be enhanced, restored, and protected for generations to come.

The overarching goal of the Little Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Plan is to protect and enhance the water quality and ecosystem integrity of Little Traverse Bay and its tributaries in a way that ensures all designated uses and attributes are restored, enhanced, and protected. The Advisory Committee developed a list of attributes that describe a healthy Little Traverse Bay Watershed, which includes:

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  • Adequate public access to lakes and streams
  • Educated public regarding benefits of clean water to economy & quality of life
  • Healthy wildlife populations and corridors
  •  Ample public lands for recreation
  • Awareness of ecologically-sound recreation to prevent streambank erosion, habitat loss, etc.
  • Preserve “Up North” character
  • Expanded network of protected private ecologically-wise industry
  • Celebrated human history of region
  • Dark skies
  • Thriving populations of fish that are healthy for consumption
  • Sustainable alternative modes of transportation Increased involvement in alternative energy
  • Managed residential growth
  • Maintained scenic views
  • Well-coordinated collaborative efforts by local government
  • Safe ground water for drinking water
  • Preserved agricultural lands
  • Protection of steep slopes along Lake Michigan
  • Promote tourism that protects and enhances “Up North” atmosphere
  • Protected native flora and fauna and the ecosystems upon which they depend
Little Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Plan - 2007-2012 and Beyond

Little Traverse Bay has been a focal point of human activity in Northern Michigan for hundreds of years. The rich waters and land that comprise the Little Traverse Bay Watershed have provided sustenance, timber, mineral resources, fish, transportation, electricity…and are now the backbone of a thriving resort and tourism economy. The purpose of the Little Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Plan is to ensure that the Watershed will be protected, enhanced, and restored for generations to come. 

Brochure highlights the accomplishments of the Plan from 2007-2012.
Brochure – side 1
Brochure – side 2
Little Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Plan Partners
  • Bay Township
  • Charlevoix Conservation District
  • Charlevoix County Commission 
  • Charlevoix County Drain Commission
  • Charlevoix County Farm Bureau
  • Charlevoix County Land Conservancy
  • Charlevoix Road commission
  • Charlevoix County Soil Erosion Control
  • City of Harbor Springs
  • City of Petoskey
  • Conservation Resource Alliance
  • Emmet Conservation District
  • Emmet County
  • Emmet County Farm Bureau
  • Emmet County Lakeshore Association
  • Emmet County Road Commission
  • Emmet County – Evangeline Township
  • Emmet County – Friendship Township
  • Harbor Area Board of Resources Inc. (HARBOR Inc.)
  • Harbor Point Association
  • Harbor Springs Chamber of Commerce
    • Harbor Springs Harbor Commission
    • L’Arbre Croche Club
    • Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
    • Little Traverse Conservancy
    • Little Traverse Township
    • Mackinaw Forest Council
    • Melrose Township
    • Menonaqua Beach Cottage Owners Association
    • Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Northwest Michigan Community Health Agency
  • Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Resort Township
  • Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council
  • Trout Unlimited
  • Walloon Lake Association
  • Wequetonsing Association