In 2002 the Glen Lake Association partnered with the Leelanau Conservancy to develop a watershed management plan as a guide for preservation and restoration of the Glen Lake-Crystal River watershed. Matt Heiman and Megan Woller of the Leelanau Conservancy prepared the plan. It was jointly funded by the Glen Lake Association and the Leelanau Conservancy. Plan approval was given by the MDEQ in January 2003.
Michigan is subdivided into discrete areas by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) to define major and sub-watersheds to encourage local entities to create plans for protection, and/or restoration of water resources. The MDEQ specifies what a plan must address. The plans are intended to help local units of government, nonprofit organizations, and citizens evaluate and prioritize plans for action. Education of local citizens is a major objective.
After a plan is approved by the MDEQ, local units of government and nonprofit organizations may submit grant applications for Clean Michigan Initiative (CMI) funding to implement portions of their plan. The CMI is a multi-million dollar environmental bond initiative overwhelmingly approved by Michigan voters in 1998. The CMI designated $165 million for water quality projects, including implementing approved watershed management plans.
Four years after the 2003 Glen Lake-Crystal River Watershed plan was approved, the same partners regrouped to update the plan to include additional information according to newly implemented EPA requirements. This 2009 updated 10 year plan included additional information on pollutant sources, fisheries management, critical areas of the watershed measurable milestones to guide the plan implementation process, and a set of criteria to evaluate effectiveness of implementation efforts. The Friends of the Crystal River joined with the GLA and the Leelanau Conservancy to fund this updated plan. The update was prepared by Sarah U’Ren of the Watershed Center.
The watershed goals, objectives, and recommendations are as follows:
• Establish and promote educational programs that support stewardship and watershed planning goals, activities, and programs.
• Preserve the distinctive character and aesthetic qualities of the watershed, including viewsheds and scenic hillsides.
• Provide guidance for the implementation of actions:
So that the watershed can continue to support their appropriate designated and desired uses while maintaining its distinctive environmental characteristics and aquatic biological communities
• Develop six broad goals by the project steering committee to:
Protect the integrity of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems within the watershed.
Protect and improve the quality of water resources within the watershed.
Establish and promote land and water management practices that conserve and protect the natural resources of the watershed.
Enhance the quality of recreational opportunities.
Establish and promote educational programs that support stewardship and watershed planning goals, activities, and programs.
Preserve the distinctive character and aesthetic qualities of the watershed, including viewsheds and scenic hillsides.
Particular critical focus areas for the GL-CR watershed include roughly a quarter of the watershed and identify the following areas:
• Riparian Corridors: Areas within 1,000 feet of bodies of water
• Forested Ridgelines: Steep, forested slopes comprised of highly permeable soils susceptible to erosion, which drain directly into Glen Lake or its tributaries
• Hatlem Creek Subwatershed: ecologically rich wetland complex
• Crystal River Dune Swale Complex: rare and ecologically rich dune swale complex
• Groundwater Recharge Areas: Areas where there is a greater amount of groundwater recharge (significant overlap with Hatlem Creek area).
To date, the Glen Lake Association has received a $14,344 two year grant for testing stream and ground water inlet nutrients and other annually conducted water quality testing activities by Rob Karner, our watershed biologist.
The Leelanau Conservancy has received $375,000 for their Glen Lake/Crystal River Permanent Land Protection Project, conducted September 2005 through December 2008. This project established 3 permanent conservation easements that protect 44.14 acres and 3696 feet of frontage along the Crystal River, and groundwater fed tributary streams flowing into Glen Lake.
Our watershed local units of government and the GLA including other non-profit partners should be able to apply for grants to fund water quality related projects through 2019.
To view the Glen Lake-Crystal River Watershed Plan, click the MDEQ link below:
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