Thornapple River Watershed Management Plan

Here in Barry County, we have information available to us through the Thornapple River Watershed Management Plan (TRWMP). The TRWMP provides local conservation groups, such as the Barry Conservation District, with a single compilation of data on the Thornapple. Data for the TRWMP was collected throughout the 90’s and 00’s and the TRWMP was completed and approved in 2016. The data in the TRWMP was collected by the Barry Conservation District, MDEQ, MDNR, and many local volunteers. With a TRWMP in hand, we are now able to act to protect our water quality.

With a watershed management plan as a guide, we can actively protect our water resources. This is done through boots-on-the-ground conservation efforts. This action or implementation can come in many forms and can be very broad or very focused depending on the issues being targeted and the funding sources. As we’ve read in past articles, non-point source pollutants tend to be the biggest cause of concern in the Thornapple. This was determined via the TRWMP, and the Barry Conservation District has begun addressing these problems through an implementation grant.

The Thornapple River Watershed Management Plan is currently underway! Your Watershed Coordinator is hard at work. Check out the watershed conservation monthly newsletters for updates!


Summary of the Thornapple River Watershed Management Plan

(Full text of the Thornapple River Watershed Management Plan, click here!)
  • The Thornapple River Watershed Management Program brought together agencies and organizations from throughout the watershed to assess, study and develop recommendations to sustain the health of the Thornapple River, its tributaries and the lands surrounding them.
  • This initiative came into effect to analyze the health of the watershed and to come together with problem-solving techniques to improve the well being of the watershed not just in terms of pollution of the water but as well as preserving the wildlife and habitats in the watershed.
  • The main outcome of the program was the development of the Thornapple River Watershed Plan, which assesses the water quality of the entire Thornapple River by analyzing the pollution causes as well as sources. The various pollution levels impair drinking water, fisheries, recreation uses (swimming, kayaking, boating, and canoeing) as well as wildlife and critical areas that have been identified for the need for improvement.


Click on this PDF to get a summary of the project! 





Click on this PDF to get a map of the three sub-watersheds in the TRW!