Sand Creek & Crockery Creek Restoration Project

About the Watersheds

The Sand Creek and Crockery Creek watersheds are located in the northeastern corner of Ottawa County. The Crockery Creek watershed extends into Muskegon, Newaygo, and Kent Counties and the Sand Creek watershed extends into Kent County. Both watersheds are designated by the State of MI as impaired for a number of nonpoint source pollutants, including E.coli, nutrients, sedimentation, and flow regime modification. Major sources of these pollutants include runoff from agricultural fields, manure from livestock, and failing residential septic systems. Click here to learn more about Nonpoint Source Pollution. 

About the Restoration Project

The Sand Creek and Crockery Creek Restoration Project was developed to address the high concentrations of nonpoint source pollutants affecting water quality in both Sand Creek and Crockery Creek. The Ottawa Conservation District will work with both residential and agricultural landowners throughout both watersheds to reduce nonpoint source pollutant concentrations in local waterbodies. To reach this goal, the project provides landowners with technical assistance and cost share opportunities to:

  • Inspect, repair, or replace failing residential septic systems for Ottawa County residents within both watersheds.
  • Develop and install best management practices on agricultural land to prevent run-off of pollutants into nearby water bodies for any interested producers within both watersheds. 

What We Offer

The Sand Creek and Crockery Creek Restoration Project is funded by a 319 nonpoint source grant from the State of Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). Through this grant, OCD can offer education/outreach, technical assistance, and funding to landowners to implement conservation practices that will reduce nonpoint source pollution such as pathogens, sediments, and nutrients. This program offers cost share to both residential property owners through Septic Assistance and agricultural producers through Farmland Best Management Practices.

Crockery Creek Speaks Survey

During the summer of 2022, the Ottawa Conservation District partnered with the Grand Valley State University Social Science Lab to gather input from residents in the Crockery Creek watershed. Surveys were distributed throughout the watershed during the summer of 2022. These surveys will not only help us learn about the local water resource concerns of residents throughout the watershed but will also help us identify beneficial educational workshops and outreach materials to provide. Stay tuned for summarized results!

Septic Assistance

Ottawa County homeowners located within watershed boundaries may be eligible for funding to inspect, repair, or replace their septic systems. 

  • Cost-share can cover up to 75% of the cost to repair or replace septic systems. 
  • At this time, Septic Assistance is only available to Ottawa County homeowners. 
  • Please review additional program eligibility requirements and program guidelines here: Septic Assistance Program Guidance
Septic Application Forms
  • To apply, please complete both pages of the Septic System Application and submit it to one of our two Watershed Technicians (download and email or mail to office). Please review, but do not fill out the Septic Assistance Contract. 
  • The Watershed Technicians will answer any questions you have about the contract or the application during a pre-project meeting. The contract will be completed at that time.

Agricultural Best Management Practices

OCD has cost-share available to agricultural landowners throughout the entire Crockery Creek and Sand Creek watersheds. This funding is available for agricultural BMPs to reduce erosion and runoff. 

  • Practices funded include cover crops, reduced tillage, buffer strips, livestock exclusion fencing, manure management, and more depending on your conservation needs. 
  • All programs are voluntary and confidential. You work with the OCD, not the state or federal government. 

Agricultural BMP Application

  • To apply for Agricultural BMP cost-share assistance, contact one of our Watershed Technicians. They will set a time to meet with you on your site to discuss natural resource concerns and practice options. 
  • Once the agreed upon practices are approved by EGLE, producers can implement immediately. A contract will be completed and signed prior to first reimbursements.

Contact Information

To get more information on this program, or to get started on an application, please contact one of our Watershed Technicians:

Ben Jordan at 616-842-5852 Ext. 5 or

Sarah Bowman at 616-842-5852 Ext. 5 or