Watershed Conservation

A watershed is all of the land that from which surface water emptiesĀ into the same main waterbody (for our watersheds, that means a large river) and everything in and on top of that land. Barry County has two main watersheds, the Kalamazoo and the Thornapple (which includes the Tyler Creek subwatershed).

Read more about our watersheds here and then check out our other pages about projects we have done to help conserve them!

Kalamazoo River Watershed
Information courtesy of MDEQ, 2008

The 2,030 square mile Kalamazoo River watershed, Figure 1, includes portions of ten Michigan counties. The river outlets to Lake Michigan near Saugatuck in Allegan County.

Approximately 21 percent of the Kalamazoo River and its tributaries are designated trout streams, as shown in Figure 2. Seven lakes are designated trout lakes. The largest are Gull Lake and Kalamazoo Lake. Trout streams and lakes are associated with high quality waters and a good supply of groundwater-fed baseflow, which helps keep the stream flows and temperatures steady.

The Kalamazoo River Watershed Council works to protect this watershed. You can find their website at http://kalamazooriver.org/

You can find the Kalamazoo River Watershed Management Plan here

Thornapple River Watershed

The Thornapple Watershed includes the Thornapple River which is about eighty eight miles long and runs through Barry County, with its headwaters in Eaton County before flowing into the Grand River in Kent County. The Thornapple Watershed has a major tributary in the Coldwater River. Places involved this watershed include Barry, Eaton, Kent, and Ionia counties as well as other watersheds downstream such as the Lower Grand.

All of the rivers and streams that lie within the local watersheds feed into two waterways, and account to 716 miles. The plan involves civic engagement and education to spread awareness of watershed, design implementation and management issues. These elements will aid in reducing non point source pollution that is the main cause for environmentally sensitive areas. The mission of this plan is to bring together organizations and citizens.

You can find the Thornapple River Watershed Management Plan here and the Coldwater River Watershed Management Plan here.

The interactive map below shows the various elements of the Thornapple River Watershed from Watershed Management Areas (WMA) to the Land Use to the Hydrography of the watershed for a detailed analysis of the site. Check out the interactive map below for further understanding of Thornapple! To view the full map click here.

Click here to visit the Thornappler River Restoration Interactive Map application!

Click here to visit the Thornapple River Restoration Website!