Watershed Conservation

A watershed is all of the land that from which surface water empties 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!

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 River Watershed has a major tributary in the Coldwater River. The watershed encompasses approximately 422,545 acres of land in Barry, Eaton, Kent, Ionia and Allegan counties. The land use in the TRW is predominately rural, with about 52.1% in some form of agriculture.

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


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