Managing Michigan’s Watersheds


Michigan’s inland freshwater resources include over 11,000 inland lakes as well as 36,000 miles of streams, rivers and creeks that are hosted by sixty three major watersheds and two hundred sixty seven sub‐watershed areas.

The overall water quality of your favorite lake or stream is often a direct reflection of the land use activities such as agriculture, mining, logging as well as the level of commercial and residential development that is occurring within your watershed. A watershed is defined as the land that water flows across or through on its way to a common stream, river, or lake. Michigan’s watershed areas flow directly into the Lake Michigan, Lake Superior, Lake Huron or Lake Erie basins.

By exploring the wetlands, streams, rivers and other natural features within your watershed, you will begin to develop an understanding of how these natural features directly affect the overall quality of your inland lake or stream and ultimately, the water quality of our Great Lakes and oceans. Michigan Lakes and Streams Association encourages you to get to know your watershed by exploring the educational resources and links we have provided and by reaching out to your local watershed council.