The Kalamazoo River Watershed Council houses various management plans and resources for the watershed. These plans serve as a road map to restoring and protecting the watershed and water quality of our streams and rivers. KRWC and many stakeholders have developed and refined many plans over time. We now have several road maps to follow that help us better understand the problems and solutions within the watershed and the steps we need to take to protect the natural resources in our area.

These plans have been developed by a variety of organizations with input from agencies, stakeholders, and other partners. The plans outline strategies that can be used to meet water quality and environmental goals. The Council supports people and projects that are implementing these plans, all designed to improve the environment.

Watershed Management Plans within the scope of the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council include:

  • Kalamazoo River Watershed Management Plan (2015 UPDATE) [text] [attachments] [Davis Creek appendix] A watershed-wide road map for reducing non-point and other sources of pollution to the Kalamazoo River
  • Kalamazoo River/Lake Allegan Phosphorus Total Maximum Daily Load (2001) [full report] Limits on the amount of phosphorus allowed to enter Lake Allegan and the Kalamazoo River
  • Kalamazoo River Watershed Conservation Plan (2014) [full report] [executive summary] Priorities for conserving natural habitats and features most important to protecting our water quality
Stage 2 Remedial Action Plan Kalamazoo River Area of Concern (2012) [full report] An update on the actions needed to restore Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs)

Fish and Wildlife BUI Restoration Plan (2009) [full report] Official fish and wildlife habitat and populations restoration criteria for the Kalamazoo River

Biennial Remedial Action Plan Update (2007) [full report] Periodic updates on recent remedial actions and assessments in the AOC

Kalamazoo River Remedial Action Plan (1998) [full report] A plan to restore and protect beneficial uses in the Kalamazoo River Area of Concern

Landscape Level Wetlands Functional Assessment (2015) [contact the KRWC for more information] Map of the ecosystem functions wetlands historically and presently serve throughout the Kalamazoo River Watershed

Kalamazoo River Hydrologic Study (2008) [full report] A hydrologic model used to better understand how water moves through the changing landscape

Kalamazoo River Fisheries Assessment (2005) [full report] A report describing the characteristics of the Kalamazoo River and its biological communities

With help from a team of graduate students from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment, the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council and Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy developed a land conservation plan for the Kalamazoo River watershed. With the Watershed Management Plan as its foundation, our planning team convened more than 40 local conservation organizations and state agencies to select water quality-based criteria that the graduate students used to calculate conservation scores for each land parcel in the watershed. The result was a geographic information systems (GIS) analysis that prioritized parcels based on existing high-quality landscapes and water features, as opposed to restoration of degraded landscapes.

Conservation Criteria

With input from local partners, the final criteria used to determine the conservation priority for individual parcels included existing land cover, wetlands, proximity to water bodies and conserved lands, presence of coldwater streams, and threatened or endangered species/habitat.

The analysis revealed eight subwatershed areas with the highest density of priority lands for conservation. The protection of these high-priority lands is the most important for improvement of water quality, the health of the Kalamazoo River, and ultimately Lake Michigan. The landscapes in these areas are extremely diverse, with everything from forested floodplains to prairie fen wetlands to coldwater trout streams.

Priority Areas

Download the Executive Summary and Map (pdf) or the Full Plan Text (pdf).

The plan will be incorporated into the Kalamazoo River Watershed Management Plan and adopted by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. While the plan emphasizes the eight priority land areas, it is important to note that high priority parcels for conservation were identified throughout the watershed. We encourage local planning organization and conservation groups to contact us to discuss the results from your specific area.

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