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Protecting Northern Michigan's ​Water Resources

Watershed Management Planning

A watershed management plan identifies problems and threats to water resources and develops a framework to address these issues within a specific watershed.

The primary purpose of a watershed management plan is to guide watershed coordinators, resource managers, policy makers, and community organizations to restore and protect the quality of lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands in a given watershed. The plan is intended to be a practical tool with specific recommendations on practices to improve and sustain water quality. As part of the development of a watershed management plan, resource inventories are conducted to assess many different types of nonpoint source pollutions. Inventories that are typically conducted are agriculture, forestry, road stream crossings, streambank and shoreline surveys. In order to be eligible for 319 nonpoint source funding, these management plans have to meet EGLE’s Clean Michigan Initiative (CMI) criteria and EPA’s 9 Elements of a Watershed Management Plan.

The Watershed Council has been a key party involved with the development of watershed management plans for all major watersheds as well as several sub-watersheds in our service area. These are “living documents,” meaning that as conditions change over time in a watershed, the plan must be reexamined and revised to reflect goals that have been achieved or not met.

Shoreline Surveys

Document Resources

2024 Mullett Lake, Lower Black/Cheboygan Rivers Watershed Management Plan
2022 Larks Lake Watershed Management Plan
2022 Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed Management Plan
2021 Coastal Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Plan
2018 Burt Lake Watershed Management Plan
2016 Duncan and Grass Bays Watershed Management Plan
2012 Lake Charlevoix Watershed Management Plan
2007 Little Traverse Bay Watershed Management Plan

EGLE/EPA approved watershed management plans:

Burt Lake Watershed Management Plan

Duncan-Grass Bays Watershed Management Plan

Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed Management Plan (in-progress)

Lake Charlevoix Watershed Management Plan

Little Traverse Bay Watershed Protection Plan

Mullett Lake Watershed Management Plan (in-progress)

Other Plans:

Black Lake Watershed Stewardship Initiative

Cheboygan River Watershed Habitat Partnership Conservations Area Plan

Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Management Protection Plan

Larks Lake Watershed Plan

Lower Black River Watershed Management Initiative

Mullett Creek Watershed Management Plan

​Paradise Lake Management Plan

Pickerel-Crooked Lakes Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Plan

Stover Creek Restoration and Management Plan

Tannery Creek Watershed Management Plan