The Black-Macatawa watershed is located in west central Michigan along the shores of Lake Michigan and covers 608 square miles. 151 miles of the rivers and streams flow year round in the watershed. Holland and South Haven, Michigan are the two urban areas in the watershed and the counties located in the watershed have a population of over 594,000.
The primary land uses are agriculture and forested land. Between 1996 and 2001, there has been a slight increase in developed land and slight decreases in cultivated land, forest, and grassland
The Lake Macatawa Watershed includes all the land that drains to Lake Macatawa. There is excess sedimentation due to nonpoint sources, mainly agricultural, in the Macatawa watershed and its tributaries. The Macatawa watershed has two major tributaries: the Macatawa River and Pine Creek. The lake and all its tributaries in the Macatawa watershed are protected as designated warmwater systems.
Soil associations in the Black River watershed are generally fine sandy to sandy loam and poor to somewhat poorly drained. Large natural areas in the Black River Watershed include the Van Buren State Park, Kal-Haven Trail, and Allegan State Game Area
A significant number of impairments are related to farming activities, including excessive phosphorus loadings as a result of the use of phosphorus-based fertilizers, sedimentation from erosion and runoff. Channelization from historic dredging has removed channel diversity, reduced bank stability, and generally the quality and quantity of stream biota. Soil erosion and sedimentation are major problems throughout due to agricultural land use and urbanization and has modified drainage patterns, increased direct surface runoff and erosion.
Ottawa County, located in the wterhed, is rated as Michigan's most diverse agricultural county. Products grown include apples, asparagus, strawberries, cherries, annuals, perennials, pumpkins, squash, among others.
Additional information is available at Michigan State University's Institute for Water Research's Digital Watershed Tool for the Black-Macatawa watershed. This site has interactive watershed-based information on industrial facilities discharge sites, toxic release inventory, permit compliance system, water quality stations, bacteria stations, national sediment inventory stations, best management practices, water quality observation stations, weather data stations, impaired waters (reach and area), landcover change (1992-2001), landuse 2001, soil, and elevation.
The Noordeloos Creek Sedimentation Project, within the Lake Macatawa portion of the watershed is focused on a creek that is comprised largely of agricultural land.
Black River watershed activities include streambank stabilization and raingarden projects in two municipal parks, land conservation efforts, land use planning assistance to local municipalities to incorporate water quality objectives, and information/education activities with a strong focus on LID and landscaping for water quality. Restoration and protection activities focus on:
- Reducing phosphorus loadings and sedimentation.
- Implement Best Management Practices.
- Provide long term protection of the Black River Watershed through improved local land use policies and land protection.
- Improving water quality in lakes and streams.
- Improving educational outreach to the community.
- Performing watershed inventories.
- Identifying pollutant sources and causes, identifying critical areas.
- Gathering information about watershed from preexisting sources.
Watershed Management Plans
- Pigeon River -- Timberland RC&D Council
- Black River Watershed Management Plan -- Van Buren Conservation District
- Lake Macatawa Watershed Management Plan -- Macatawa Area Coordinating Council Black River
Watershed Data and Information
USGS Water Resources Links for: 04050002 - Black-Macatawa
USGS State Information and Contacts:
Current Water Data:
- NWIS Real-time Streamflow Stations Grouped by County in Black-Macatawa - HUC 04050002
- NWIS Real-time Water Quality Samples Grouped by County in Black-Macatawa - HUC 04050002
- NWIS Real-time Groundwater Sites Grouped by County in Black-Macatawa - HUC 04050002
All Water Data (Current and Historic Sites):
- National Water Information System: Mapper
- NWIS Site Inventory Grouped by County in Black-Macatawa - HUC 04050002
- NWIS Water Quality Samples Grouped by County in Black-Macatawa - HUC 04050002
- NWIS Groundwater Inventory Levels Grouped by County in Black-Macatawa - HUC 04050002
Other Data Links:
Current Regional / National Conditions:
- USGS Drought Watch - U.S Map of Drought and Low Flow Conditions
- USGS WaterWatch - Real-time Streamflow Map for the Great Lakes Region- HUC 04
- USGS WaterWatch - Real-time Floods and High Flow Conditions Map for the Great Lakes Region - HUC 04
Search USGS for Links, Publications and Web Sites Associated with:
- Black-Macatawa - HUC 04050002
- Southeastern Lake Michigan - HUC 040500
- Southeastern Lake Michigan - HUC 0405
- Great Lakes - HUC 04
EPA Links for the Black-Macatawa - HUC 04050002:
- EPA - Impaired Waters for the Black-Macatawa - HUC 04050002
- EPA - Storet Watershed Station Summary for the Black-Macatawa - HUC 04050002
- EPA - Surf Your Watershed for the Black-Macatawa for HUC 04050002
- EPA - Adopt Your Watershed for the Black-Macatawa HUC 04050002
- EPA - EnviroMapper for the Black-Macatawa HUC 04050002
To report invasive species, you can send an alert via e-mail or call 1-877-STOP-ANS.
- Macatawa Greenway Partnership
- Macatawa Watershed Project
- Van Buren Conservation District
- Bangor / South Haven Heritage Water Trail Association
For more information, see the USEPA Surf Your Watershed website or contact the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality at 517-335-6969 to request a copy of the following reports:
- MI/DEQ/WB-07/086, “Monthly Water Quality Assessment of Lake Macatawa and Its Tributaries, 2006”.
- MI/DEQ/WB-07/014, “A Biological Survey of Sites in the Lake Macatawa Watershed. Allegan and Ottawa Counties, Michigan, Jun 2005”.
- MI/DEQ/WB-07/062, A Biological Survey of Sites in the Pigeon River Watershed, Ottawa County, Michigan, Jul 2005”.
- MI/DEQ/WD-03/077, “A Biological Survey of Sites on Select Lake Michigan Tributaries, Allegan and Van Buren Counties, Michigan”.
- MI/DEQ/WD-03/067, “A Biological Survey of Sites in the Black River Watershed, Allegan and Van Buren Counties, Michigan, Aug 19 and 20, 2002”.
303(d) Impaired Waters
A listing of impaired waters can be found on the U.S. EPA impaired waters website.
Tools for addressing impairments in the watershed can be found at the Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan Watershed Tools page.
Specific Lake Michigan Lakewide Management Plan Watershed Tools can be found at the following pages:
- Lake Michigan Fish Consumption Tools
- Lake Michigan Drinking Water Protection Tools
- Lake Michigan Swimming and Beach Protection Tools
- Lake Michigan Habitat Protection Tools
- Lake Michigan Access to Open Space Tools
- Lake Michigan Ecosystem Sustainability Tools
- Lake Michigan Pollution Pathways Tools
- Lake Michigan Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species Tools
- Lake Michigan Ecosystem Stewardship Tools
- Lake Michigan Collaborative Management Tools
- Lake Michigan Data, Information, and Indicators Tools
12-Digit Subwatersheds Located within the Betsie-Platte Watershed
Subwatersheds in the Black-Macatawa Watershed
Information on other Lake Michigan subwatersheds can be found at: Lake Michigan Subwatershed Information
|040500020101||Plummerville Creek-Frontal Lake Michigan|
|040500020102||Deerlick Creek-Frontal Lake Michigan|
|040500020201||Headwaters North Branch Black River|
|040500020202||North Branch Black River|
|040500020203||Headwaters Middle Branch Black River|
|040500020204||Scott Creek Drain|
|040500020205||Middle Branch Black River|
|040500020206||Great Bear Lake Drain|
|040500020207||Headwaters South Branch Black River|
|040500020208||Maple Creek-South Branch Black River|
|040500020209||Cedar Creek-South Branch Black River|
|040500020210||South Branch Black River|
|040500020301||Little Pigeon Creek-Frontal Lake Michigan|
|040500020302||Headwaters Pigeon River|
|040500020401||Upper Macatawa River|
|040500020402||South Branch Macatawa River|
|040500020403||Middle Macatawa River|
|040500020404||North Branch Macatawa River|
|040500020405||Bosch and Hulst Drain|
|040500020406||Lower Macatawa River|